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Warner Stumps For Deeds

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) dropped by an Arlington, Va., cafe this morning to stump for gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds, who is currently trailing Bob McDonnell in the polls by 7.2 points. The senator, as well as Deeds's former primary rival Brian Moran, pumped up a small crowd of Deeds supporters as the campaign pushes into full gear with less than a month to go.

"As my friend Mark Warner, our great governor and leader, pointed out, we are the best managed state in the country," Deeds said following Warner's introduction. "We are the best state for business in the country; we are the best state to move your business to in the country; we're the best place to raise a child in the country."

Deeds mentioned the 2004 bipartisan, taxes-raising budget deal Warner struck with a Republican-controlled state legislature, which helped move Virginia from a deficit-ridden state to one with an annual surplus. McDonnell voted against that budget plan.

"The reason we are not California is because of leadership like Mark Warner's," Deeds quipped.

Deeds is pushing for voters to view him as someone who will simply carry on the torch first lit by the popular Warner, and carried on by the less popular Tim Kaine, who is simultaneously serving as governor and chairman of the Democratic National Committee. The DNC cut a $1 million check to Deeds today, pushing its total contribution amount to $6 million.

The decision in this election, Deeds said, is "whether we continue the pragmatic, problem-solving, reach-across-the-aisle form of government that Mark Warner and Tim Kaine have exercised, or whether we stop in the middle of the road, abruptly turn around and go in a dramatically different direction. Because that's what's at stake."

Today marks the deadline for voter registration in the state -- one reason Deeds is spending the day in Northern Virginia, which is rich in Democrats. McDonnell's day includes an appearance at a local business in Charlottesville, home of the University of Virginia, and a tour of the Richmond city jail.

Speaking with reporters following the speeches, Warner criticized McDonnell's transportation plan, saying it would take money away from the state's funding for education.

"You know that's not what made Virginia the best managed state, that's not what made Virginia the best state in the country for business," said Warner. "I think over the next 29 days the campaign has to drive home that we've got a real stark choice here."