BET Co-Founder Sides With Republican For Va. Gov

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

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July 20, 2009

A billionaire co-founder of the Black Entertainment Television network who is also a key Democratic donor has endorsed Republican Bob McDonnell for Virginia governor.

Sheila Johnson joined McDonnell at a Monday appearance in Richmond. She says she thinks the Republican can turn around the state's sluggish economy and prefers him over his Democratic opponent, R. Creigh Deeds.

Deeds' campaign did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

Johnson and her former husband, Robert Johnson, sold BET in 2000 to Viacom for $3 billion. She backed Barack Obama for president, but has given some money to GOP candidates in the past though most of her support has gone to Democrats.

Virginian and New Jersey are the only states electing governors next year.

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