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Obama to stump in Virginia race

A Democratic official says President Obama will campaign in Virginia on Friday for embattled Rep. Tom Perriello.

Mr. Obama will speak in Charlottesville at a rally for Mr. Perriello, who narrowly won his seat in 2008 and is again locked in a highly competitive race, this time against Republican state Sen. Robert Hurt.

The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the president’s schedule has not been announced.

Mr. Perriello voted for Mr. Obama’s health care overhaul, and hasn’t backed away from the president’s agenda during this election season. His district is home to the University of Virginia, and is more than 20 percent black, giving Mr. Obama the opportunity to reach out to constituencies with whom he is popular.

A White House official said Friday’s event was added at the request of Democratic House leadership and Mr. Perriello’s campaign.

Mr. Hurt’s campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said in a statement that Mr. Obama’s visit will solidify that Mr. Perriello has been “a lapdog” for the president, representing Mr. Obama’s interests and not those of Virginia voters.

With the Nov. 2 election fast approaching, Mr. Obama is spending much of this week at the White House. He’ll wrap up his midterm elections campaigning on a two-day, four-state swing this weekend as he makes a final push to rally Democrats ahead of Election Day.


Jury selection set for DeLay

AUSTIN| A jury has been chosen in Texas for the trial of former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who is accused of illegally financing Texas GOP legislative races in 2002.

After more than eight hours of jury selection in Austin, a panel of six men and six women as well as two alternates were picked Tuesday to hear the Texas Republican’s case. Testimony is expected to start Monday.

Potential jurors were quizzed on whether their political beliefs could interfere in their ability to make an impartial decision about Mr. DeLay, a highly polarizing public figure. Most said it wouldn’t affect them.

The former Houston-area congressman, 63, is charged with money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Mr. DeLay, once one of the most powerful Republican politicians in Washington, insists he committed no crime.

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