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McDonnell Legislative_Reps.jpg

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell gestures as he announces his legislative agenda during a news conference at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

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** FILE ** In this Jan. 4, 2012, file photo, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (right) and Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (center) announce their legislative agenda in Richmond. (Associated Press)

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** FILE ** Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

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20111212-225813-pic-774621827.jpg

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (left) and the Rev. Tommy McDearis (right) comfort Army Sgt. Paul Sweeney during the memorial service Monday in Blacksburg for Deriek W. Crouse, a Virginia Tech police officer who was fatally shot last week. (Associated Press)

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AP Day Senate Debate_Lea.jpg

Former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (left) and former Sen. George Allen, who also was governor of the commonwealth, greet each other after the AP Day at the Capitol senatorial debate at the Capitol in Richmond on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

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Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said Thursday, "We simply cannot afford a government that just grows bigger and bigger with each passing year." (Associated Press)

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Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, referencing the new biennial budget, predicts some pain ahead, which could include layoffs, to balance the needs of programs like Medicaid and the Virginia Retirement System. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

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Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell discusses election results at the Capitol in Richmond on Wednesday. Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling looks on. (Associated Press)

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"Republicans will now have the responsibility and accountability ... of governing both Houses," Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said at the Capitol in Richmond on Wednesday. (Associated Press)

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** FILE ** Former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (center) and his fellow Democrat, Sen. Mark R. Warner, attend a get-out-the-vote rally at George Mason University in Fairfax on Monday, Nov. 7, 2011. (The Washington Times)

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In this image, released by the Virginia Republican Party, an invitation touts a Republican Party fundraiser featuring Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell in Richmond on Wednesday. State party Chairman Pat Mullins sent the invitation to party activists across the commonwealth.

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Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, a Republican, appeared with Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat, together Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" in their roles as chairmen of their parties' governors associations. (Associated Press)

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Drew Angerer/The Washington Times Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (center) marks the occasion solemnly as the colors are presented at the opening ceremony of the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the First Battle of Manassas/Bull Run on Thursday in Manassas, Va.. At right is Virginia House Speaker William J. Howell.

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Drew Angerer/The Washington Times Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell addresses the opening ceremony of the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the First Battle of Manassas/Bull Run on Thursday in Manassas, Va.

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Surplus.jpg

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell gestures as he announces a $311 million revenue surplus for fiscal year 2011 during a news conference as Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, right, and Secretary of Finance, Ric Brown, center, listen at the Capitol in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, July 19, 2011. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

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**FILE** Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

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BARBARA L. SALISBURY/THE WASHINGTON TIMES Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell received a favorable rating on his job performance after 16 months in office. A poll determined that 55 percent of the respondents like what he is doing, compared with 26 percent who don't.

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Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is taking only small steps to promote clean energy and protect the Chesapeake Bay, environmental activists say. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

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Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell speaks with representatives from the Richmond Justice Initiative, including (from left) Nicole LeBoeuf, a regent law intern, Tran Doan, an administrative volunteer, and Marie Krouse, a regent law intern, at the signing of sex trafficking legislation Tuesday. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

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Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell shakes hands with Delegate Vivian E. Watts, Annandale Democrat, after signing sex trafficking legislation into law on Tuesday. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)