The Associated Press has declared Virginia Sen. R. Creigh Deeds winner of the state’s Democratic gubernatorial primary, setting up a rematch between the Bath County lawmaker and former Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell for the governor’s mansion this fall.
Mr. McDonnell, the Republican nominee, narrowly defeated Mr. Deeds in a 2005 race for state attorney general. In the Democratic primary, Mr. Deeds was seen as the dark horse candidate until a recent surge in momentum and in the polls made him the contest’s frontrunner.
He defeated former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe and former state delegate Brian J. Moran.
Mr. McAuliffe announced to supporters at his election night party that he had conceded the race to Mr. Deeds.
“And I told Creigh I will give him my 100 percent to help him do whatever he needs to become governor,” Mr. McAuliffe told his supporters. “I am asking all my supporters to stand tall and make sure Creigh Deeds is the next governor of the commonwealth of Virginia.”
Mr. McAuliffe then launched into an attack on the republican nominee Robert F. McDonnel, saying that he would not help Virgina move forward. “Barack Obama needs a partner in Richmond. Bob McDonnell will not be that partner. Creigh Deeds will be that partner.”