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Va. Attorney General Gets GOP Bid

June 3, 2001

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Attorney General Mark Earley won the Republican nomination for governor Saturday at the party’s state convention.

Earley beat out Lt. Gov. John Hager by a 3-to-1 ratio for the right to challenge Democrat Mark Warner in the Nov. 6 election, party officials said. Hagar then called on delegates to unite behind Earley.

Earley said he would step down as attorney general as of noon Sunday to focus on his campaign. His chief deputy will take over as acting attorney general.

``If they speak of fear, I will speak of hope,″ Earley, 46, said in his acceptance speech. ``If they speak of distortions, I will speak of the truth. ... They may knock me down, but I will get up.″

Gov. Jim Gilmore, the chairman of the National Republican Party, cannot run again because of term limits. Virginia and New Jersey are the only two states with governorships up for election this year.

Warner, a telecommunications mogul, has no Democratic challengers.

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