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VirginiaFirstBlackExecOffic - Virginia elects first black, first woman to...
Virginia elects first black, first woman to state office RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A traditional campaign by Democrats in Old Dominion yielded historic results as Virginians elected Gerald L. Baliles their new governor, and with him the first woman and first black to hold statewide office. "Tonight the people of Virginia voted for the future," Baliles told cheering Democrats after his victory Tuesday keyed a victory for the party that had thrown off the yoke of two decades of Republican dominance in Virginia only four years ago. Baliles, 45, had a commanding 10-point margin in the governor's race over Wyatt B. Durrette, the man he narrowly defeated in the attorney general's race in 1981 when Charles S. Robb was elected governor. But it was two other Democratic candidates for lesser offices who in victory gained almost as much at- tention as the governor-elect. Veteran state Sen. L. Douglas Wilder, a slave's grandson who was called called a 100-to-one shot when he was nominated, was elected lieutenant governor. It was the first time a black candidate in the South had won a state executive office since Reconstruction. Del. Mary Sue Taylor won the attorney general's race, becoming the first woman to win statewide office in Virginia. "It's not the two of us but Virginia voters who have made history today," Ms. Terry said. Wilder, speaking to supporters at party headquarters in the Hotel John Marshall, recalled when he had to work at the hotel to pay his way through college. "I used to listen to political speeches as I would wait the tables on this floor," he said. "Little did I believe that one day I just might be your lieutenant governor."

Clipped from
  1. The Paris News,
  2. 06 Nov 1985, Wed,
  3. Page 12

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