Author: Dwayne Yancey

a senior editor at the Roanoke Times
ENTRY

Wilder, Lawrence Douglas (1931– )

L. Douglas Wilder was governor of Virginia from 1990 until 1994. His was a political career of many firsts: the grandson of slaves, he was the first African American elected governor of any state in America. He was the first black member of the Virginia Senate in the twentieth century. And he was the first African American to win statewide office in Virginia when he was elected lieutenant governor in 1985. A Democrat, he ran briefly for United States president in 1991 and in 2004 was elected mayor of Richmond, serving until 2008.

ENTRY

Robb, Charles S. (1939– )

Charles S. “Chuck” Robb served as lieutenant governor (1978–1982) and governor of Virginia (1982–1986) and for two terms as U.S. senator (1989–2001). The son-in-law of U.S. president Lyndon B. Johnson, Robb entered Virginia politics as a “celebrity” without the customary résumé of serving in lower office. A Democrat, Robb was instrumental in reviving his party’s fortunes in the state after a period of Republican dominance. His election in 1981 ushered in the first of three consecutive Democratic governorships. A moderate, Robb also played a role in national politics, moving his party to the center but never seeking national office himself. His promising career was tarnished by a series of scandals and he was ultimately defeated for reelection in 2000.

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