Va. GOP picks statewide slate on the right

June 06, 1993|By New York Times News Service

RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia Republicans, always among the most conservative in the country, moved even further to the right yesterday as they nominated candidates for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general in this fall's election.

Meeting in a convention in Richmond, 13,000 party delegates chose former U.S. Rep. George Allen for the top spot on the ticket, then picked Mike Farris, a Northern Virginia lawyer, for the lieutenant governor's slot.

Mr. Farris, although he sought the No. 2 job on the ticket, nevertheless dominated the convention, ideologically as well as organizationally.

He is one of the leaders of the national movement to enhance family values in the country by educating children at home, and at least 40 percent of the delegates were firmly committed to him and his principles.

Sooner or later during the two-day convention, all the other contenders for the lieutenant governor's job, as well as the contenders for the other slots, found some way to say a kind or friendly word about him or the principles he espouses.

James S. Gilmore III, a prosecutor from the Richmond area, was chosen to run for attorney general.

In the fall contest, the Republican nominees will face a slate of three moderate Democrats. Political analysts give the Democrats the edge in the battle, noting that moderates have increasingly dominated the state's politics in recent years. Democrats have controlled all three top elected posts in the state for the past 12 years.

The incumbent governor, L. Douglas Wilder, cannot succeed himself under Virginia law.

At the top of the Democratic ticket is Mary Sue Terry, who was the state's attorney general until she resigned recently to campaign for the gubernatorial nomination. If elected, she would be the state's first female governor.

Her running mate for the lieutenant governor's job is the incumbent, Don S. Beyer Jr. The party's nominee for attorney general is William D. Dolan III, a lawyer from Northern Virginia.

The Republican Convention in Richmond was one of the largest political conventions ever held in the country because new Virginia GOP rules encourage mass participation. Although the competition was spirited for each of the ballot positions, the results were never in doubt.

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