The Fighting 9th Congressional District's veteran Democratic congressman, Rep. Rick Boucher, is backing Creigh Deeds in the increasingly competitive race for Governor in 2009. This is the same "down state" area that saw numerous visits by the Obama campaign, and has shown strong support for Jim Webb and Mark Warner. Deeds "native son" support in the west, and now growing support in the southwest, will be critical to the nomination race, and even more important in the general election. Building a strong base of support in these regions, was a key part of the successful Webb and Warner campaigns.
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Breaking news from Roanoke Times
By Michael Sluss
RICHMOND 12/17/08 — State Sen. Creigh Deeds will have the backing of U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher of Abingdon as he pursues the Democratic nomination for governor, an endorsement that could help him in Southwest Virginia in next year’s party primary.
"Virginia’s next governor must possess the experience and vision to create high paying, 21st century jobs across the commonwealth," Boucher said in a statement released by Deeds’ campaign. "Creigh Deeds possesses that experience and vision. In the General Assembly, Creigh worked to deliver the largest investment in our public schools in state history, and he is working to expand pre-kindergarten education throughout the commonwealth. For the past two decades, I have considered Creigh a friend, and I am pleased to endorse his candidacy for governor."
Boucher’s congressional district extends to Deeds’ home region of the Alleghany Highlands and both Democrats have rural political bases.
"I’m just tickled as I can be to have his support," Deeds said in a telephone interview Wednesday.
Deeds lauded Boucher’s efforts to promote economic development in his congressional district and said, "I think we need to create opportunities in every part of Virginia."
"Rick Boucher’s been working for the same things I’ve been talking about," Deeds said.