Thursday, August 19, 2004

Voters in Southside Virginia are asking: Why is the state’s Republican attorney general campaigning for the Democratic presidential nominee?

It’s a question other Virginians might ask soon when they start seeing “JK ‘05” bumper stickers in their parts of the state.

Attorney General Jerry W. Kilgore laughs at the question.

“Oh, you mean the John Kerry stickers,” he says.

Mr. Kilgore, who is seeking to become Virginia’s next governor, has the same initials as the Democratic senator from Massachusetts who is seeking to become the next commander in chief. The statewide elections will be held next year, hence the “‘05.”

Mr. Kilgore says people have been asking about the stickers and teasing him about it. And the stickers, which his campaign is passing out across the state, won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

“I just say they should consider this a confusing message to send to the John Kerry supporters,” he said.

For the record, Mr. Kilgore is an adamant supporter of President Bush.

Lt. Gov. Timothy M. Kaine, Mr. Kilgore’s likely opponent in the 2005 gubernatorial race, has seen the stickers but didn’t make the connection between the initials.

“I hadn’t thought about it — that’s funny,” Mr. Kaine said.

Southside Democrats surely don’t mind the stickers.

“The Democratic Party is a big party, and we would welcome anybody’s participation, including that of the attorney general,” said Delegate Ward L. Armstrong of Henry County. “If he would like to campaign for John Kerry, it’s not a problem.”

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