June 6 – Application deadline for primary election in-person absentee ballot
June 9 – Primary elections; deadline for parties to select candidates by non-primary methods; filing deadline for independent candidates
October 5 – Voter registration deadline for general election
October 27 – Application deadline for general election mail-in absentee ballot
October 31 – Application deadline for general election in-person absentee ballot
November 3 – General election
In addition, candidates must file campaign finance reports with the state or local election boards at certain specified intervals during the campaign year. The three incumbent statewide officeholders and members of the General Assembly are barred by law from fundraising during the annual session of the General Assembly, from mid-January through roughly the end of February.
Sufficiently large political parties (in practice, the Democratic and Republican parties) have the option of nominating candidates in primary elections. Nominees not chosen in primaries are selected in a caucus or convention process. Incumbent members of Congress and the General Assembly have the option of choosing their party's nominating method for their office; otherwise, the decision is made by a committee of party officials from the jurisdiction involved.
Persons 18 years old or older on the general election date (born on or before November 3, 1991) may register and vote in both the primary and general elections. Voters in Virginia do not register by party; they have the option of voting in any one party's primary, and may switch at will from one election to the next.
The Republican Party formally nominated former Attorney General Bob McDonnell of Virginia Beach, who was unopposed for the nomination, at the May 29–30 state party convention. McDonnell resigned as Virginia's Attorney General on February 3, 2009, to concentrate on the gubernatorial campaign.
The Democratic Party nominated Creigh Deeds, Democrat from Bath County – Senator since 2002 following 10 years in the House; unsuccessful Democratic nominee for Attorney General in 2005, after he captured the nomination in the Democratic Primary on June 9, 2009
Former candidates for the Democratic Party nomination
Brian Moran, Democrat from Alexandria – 7 term House member and House Democratic caucus chair; younger brother of U.S. Representative Jim Moran. Resigned from House of Delegates December 12, 2008 to concentrate on campaign
Former state Secretary of Finance Jody Wagner, who resigned her position on August 8, 2008 to run, won the June 9 primary to be the Democratic Party nominee. Previously she was the unsuccessful Democratic candidate in Virginia's 2nd congressional district in 2000.
Jon Bowerbank, a Democratic energy industry engineer/entrepreneur, won election to the Russell County Board of Supervisors in November 2007 and began campaigning for lieutenant governor in May 2008. After getting his name on the primary ballot, Bowerbank withdrew on May 15, 2009, endorsing Wagner.
Pat Edmonson, a Virginia Beach School Board member, announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination on January 12, 2009, saying voters were "ready for a progressive voice" She failed to file the proper candidate paperwork with the state by the April 10, 2009 deadline, making her ineligible for the primary,
Rich Savage, a Democratic professional campaign consultant from Richmond, announced his candidacy on January 2, 2009 but suspended his campaign on March 6, citing financial pressures caused by the worsening economy.
Mike Signer of Arlington, a former deputy counselor to Mark Warner on Homeland Security and National Guard policy and senior strategist for Tom Perriello, lost the June 9 Democratic primary to Wagner.
The Democratic Party nominee is State Delegate and former assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Steve Shannon of Fairfax County. Shannon announced his candidacy in the fall of 2008, and as the only candidate who filed for the Democratic primary, became the Democratic nominee by default.
The Republican Party nominee is State Senator Ken Cuccinelli of Fairfax County; Cuccinelli announced April 1, 2008, and won the nomination at the May 29–30 Republican convention.
81st district (Virginia Beach, Chesapeake) – fifth-term Republican Terrie Suit, chair of the General Laws committee, resigned on October 12, 2008 to take a job as a lobbyist. A special election was set for January 6, 2009.Barry Knight, a hogfarmer and member of the Virginia Beach Planning Commission, was selected as the Republican nominee in a firehouse primary on November 29, 2008. On December 4, the Democrats nominated John LaCombe, a 24-year-old payday lending activist. Knight won the special election by an 83-17 margin.
70th district (Richmond, Henrico and Chesterfield Counties) – Dwight Clinton Jones, a Democrat in his eighth term, was elected mayor of Richmond on November 4, 2008. This special election was also scheduled for January 6, 2009. On December 6, 2008, the Democratic Party nominated Delores McQuinn, a member of Richmond City Council, for the seat. McQuinn was unopposed in the special election.
46th district (Alexandria, Fairfax County) – Brian Moran resigned his seat December 12, 2008 to concentrate on his campaign for Governor. A special election was called for January 13, 2009. Both major parties held nominating caucuses on December 16, 2008. The Democratic nominee was Charniele Herring, an attorney from Alexandria. The Republicans nominated Joe Murray, an aide to U. S. RepresentativeJoe Wilson of South Carolina. Herring won the election by 16 votes; the House, under Republican control, refused to seat her pending a recount requested by Murray. Herring was finally seated after a recount on January 26.
Former Minority Leader Franklin P. Hall (D-Richmond) on March 28. Hall announced his retirement effective April 14, 2009. Governor Kaine immediately announced Hall's appointment to the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, effective the same date
Steve Shannon (D-Fairfax) is the Democratic nominee for Attorney General.