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Virginia governor's race gains attention

May 24, 2009 at 5:14 PM

WASHINGTON, May 24 (UPI) -- The Republican governor's race in Virginia is seen as a proving ground for the GOP, political observers say.

The Washington Post reported that Republican candidate Robert McDonnell could be the new Republican ideal. Michael Steele, leader of the Republican National Committee, said McDonnell part of a GOP "renaissance."

The newspaper noted that McDonnell's campaign has steered away from divisive social issues and instead focused on energy independence and the economy.

The Post said U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to campaign in Virginia for the winner of the Democratic primary, which features former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe, former Virginia delegate Brian Moran and state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds.

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