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One of the original 13 colonies, Virginia was home to many Presidents, including Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, George Washington, and Woodrow Wilson.

Virginia presents several interesting political features, many of them left over from the period from 1925 to 1970, a period during which a political machine led by Harry Byrd controlled the bulk of the state. So disciplined was Byrd's machine that south-central Virginia never voted for a Republican at all between those dates, even on the occasions when Republicans won Virginia, which happened with increasing frequency after Byrd broke with the national party in 1952.

For instance, Virginia has only three elected state-wide state offices (Gov., Lt. Gov., Atty. Gen.). Byrd did this to make it more difficult for bases of opposition to arise. But the Republican trend of the 1960s continued unabated, and soon Byrd had lost control of the "courthouse cliques" he had used to maintain control, and the incoming Republicans dismantled much of his machinery.

What this has meant in practical terms is that the Virginia Democrats were left without much organization at all in many rural areas of the state, leading to Republican dominance for many years after 1970. But as the state GOP has grown larger, it has often waged pitched political battles within itself, and these fights sometimes become fierce enough to allow Democrats to win statewide office. The Democrats' situation was often complicated by the strong presence of the U.S. Navy in Hampton Roads, which in the 1980s often sided with the Republicans. To win in Virginia, a candidate must often have strong links to either the military, rural southern and western Virginia, or both. Northern Virginia, the most populous area, tends to side with Democrats, so most political battles take place in Richmond, Virginia Beach, and in rural areas.

Virginia has not only counties, but also independent cities, which are counted as counties in the census, and which maintain their own school and (in many cases) police forces from the counties. Virginia is the only state which has so many independent cities (only Missouri and Maryland have similar arrangements).

Transportation and growth issues are the most controversial issues in Virginia politics, followed by veterans' issues, education (Virginia's many state universities frequently complain of lack of state support), and outsourcing (which is especially thorny in many southern parts of the state).

To date, 78 Virginians have been killed in the War in Iraq.


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President: 2004, 2008

Congress: VA-Sen, VA-01, VA-02, VA-03, VA-04, VA-05, VA-06, VA-07, VA-08, VA-09, VA-10, VA-11

State: VA-Gov, Virginia Senate, Virginia House, Virginia elections, 2008, Virginia election results

Counties: Accomack, Albemarle, Alleghany, Amelia, Amherst, Appomattox, Arlington, Augusta, Bath, Bedford, Bland, Botetourt, Brunswick, Buchanan, Buckingham, Campbell, Caroline, Carroll, Charles City, Charlotte, Chesterfield, Clarke, Craig, Culpeper, Cumberland, Dickenson, Dinwiddie, Essex, Fairfax, Fauquier, Floyd, Fluvanna, Franklin, Frederick, Giles, Gloucester, Goochland, Grayson, Greene, Greensville, Halifax, Hanover, Henrico, Henry, Highland, Isle Of Wight, James City, King And Queen, King George, King William, Lancaster, Lee, Loudoun, Louisa, Lunenburg, Madison, Mathews, Mecklenburg, Middlesex, Montgomery, Nelson, New Kent, Northampton, Northumberland, Nottoway, Orange, Page, Patrick, Pittsylvania, Powhatan, Prince Edward, Prince George, Prince William, Pulaski, Rappahannock, Richmond, Roanoke, Rockbridge, Rockingham, Russell, Scott, Shenandoah, Smyth, Southampton, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Surry, Sussex, Tazewell, Warren, Washington, Westmoreland, Wise, Wythe, York

Independent Cities: Alexandria, Bedford, Bristol, Buena Vista, Charlottesville, Chesapeake, Colonial Heights, Covington, Danville, Emporia, Fairfax, Falls Church, Franklin, Fredericksburg, Galax, Hampton, Harrisonburg, Hopewell, Lexington, Lynchburg, Manassas, Manassas Park, Martinsville, Newport News, Norfolk, Norton, Petersburg, Poquoson, Portsmouth, Radford, Richmond, Roanoke, Salem, Staunton, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, Waynesboro, Williamsburg, Winchester

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This page was last modified 02:10, 16 November 2010 by dKosopedia user Jbet777. Based on work by Stuart Philipp and Chad Lupkes and dKosopedia user(s) Corncam, WarrenCohen, Harkov311, BartFraden, Chambers, Allamakee Democrat, Osterizer, MH in PA, JamesB and Mhaw. Content is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

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