Wednesday May 13, 2009
According to a campaign spokeswoman, governor candidate Creigh Deeds had to lay off "a handful of staffers" to pay for a big television push he hopes will sway Virginia's undecided democratic voters.
The layoffs will not impact staff at Deeds' Charlottesville office, but his staff statewide has been trimmed to 25 people.
There are 27 days left until the party picks its candidate for governor and pundits say Terry McAuliffe is the odds-on favorite to run against Republican Bob McDonnell in the general election.
According to recent polling Deeds, however, is very much in the hunt and his campaign says these layoffs will help as they try to introduce their candidate to different parts of the commonwealth via television.
Cordel Faulk at the UVa Center for Politics says many times when a campaign lays off staff it's a sign of desperation, but in Deeds' case, it could be an opportunity.
"There are a lot of undecided voters [to be reached by television]," Faulk explains. "The three candidates don't disagree on much. It's really a contest of different styles and he's trying to get out there to convince voters that 'I'm the guy to be the nominee.'"
The Washington Post reports McAuliffe has a huge fundraising edge over Deeds and Brian Moran, the third Democrat in the race.
In the first quarter of 2009, the paper says McAuliffe raised $4.2 million to Moran's $800,000 and Deeds' $730,000.