Douglas Wilder

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Douglas Wilder
66th Governor of Virginia
From: January 14, 1990 – January 14, 1994
Predecessor Gerald L. Baliles
Successor George Allen
78th Mayor of Richmond, Virginia
From: 2005–2009
Predecessor Rudolph McCollum Jr.
Successor Dwight Jones
Party Democrat
Spouse(s) Eunice Montgomery (div.)
Religion Baptist

Lawrence Douglas Wilder (born January 17, 1931) is an American politician from Richmond, Virginia. He was the first African-American to be elected as a state official in Virginia, when he was elected Lieutenant Governor in 1985. He had earlier served on the state Senate. In 1989 Wilder was elected governor of Virginia, the first African-American to be elected as a governor in the country. Wilder could not run for reelection due to term limits. In 2004, he ran for mayor of Richmond and won with 79% percent of the vote. After serving a term as mayor, Wilder announced he would not seek a second term. He is now a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Despite being a Democrat, Wilder has been considered conservative on issues such as the death penalty. In 2009, Wilder withheld from endorsing Democratic Virginia gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds, saying he has concerns over Deeds' stances on "financial stewardship", gun control and abortion. "It can't be just that we have to go along because he's a Democrat. That doesn't cut it for me...The question is leadership. Where is your mantle of leadership? I have not seen it." On the contrary Wilder called Deeds' Republican opponent Bob McDonnell "pleasant folk, a family man." [1]