By the fall of 1991 he was running for the House of Delegates. He spent 10 years in the House of Delegates, and then won a special election for the State Senate after Emily Couric died from pancreatic cancer.

During his campaign for Governor, Deeds often referred to his Bath County roots, saying it was almost beyond belief that a boy of humble beginnings from rural Virginia would have a chance to run for Governor.

Deeds has four children. Gus Deeds was his only son. Deeds and his wife, Pam, divorced shortly after the 2009 campaign. Deeds remarried last year.

During Deeds' bid for governor, his son took off a semester to join his dad on the campaign trail.

"He needs me and I need him," Deeds told a reporter in the fall of 2009, about campaigning with Gus.

"I've got to go through this campaign process but that doesn't mean I've got to be completely separated from my family the whole time," he said.

Deeds' reputation among colleagues has been as a thoughtful legislator. On social issues, he is generally to the right of party liberals, supporting abortion rights, but opposing gay marriage and gun control measures. He wrote a constitutional amendment guaranteeing Virginians' right to hunt and fish.

He proved to be a reserved campaigner in 2009, described as shy by his fellow lawmakers.

"I don't like fundraising. I don't like being away from home all the time," he said during the campaign. "I enjoy the service. I enjoy the work that politics allows you to do. I don't know that I really enjoy the process that much."

Del. David Toscano, D-Charlottesville, whose district overlaps with Deeds', said in a statement: "Sen. Deeds was very close to his son, Gus, and has taken herculean efforts to help him over the years. Our thoughts and prayers are with Creigh and the family at this difficult time."

Gov.-elect McAuliffe called it a sad day for Virginia and the many people who know Creigh.

"We join people across the Commonwealth and country in wishing him a full recovery," he said.

At 7 p.m. Thursday college groups representing Democrats and Republicans at the University of Virginia will hold a vigil for the senator. It will be held at the UVA Amphitheater on campus.


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Virginia State Police are looking at the stabbing of State Senator Creigh Deeds and the death of his son, Gus, as an attempted murder and suicide.

Creigh Deeds was stabbed several times in the head and torso Tuesday morning. Gus Deeds died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 24.

A firearm was recovered at the scene.

Check back soon for more updates.

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State Senator Creigh Deeds was stabbed multiple times in his Bath County home on Tuesday morning, and flown to UVA Hospital in Charlottesville for treatment of “serious injuries.”

Deeds is listed in fair condition at UVA Hospital. Deeds’ son, Austin C. "Gus" Deeds, was found dead inside the home from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Creigh Deeds represents the 25th District. The Democrat ran for governor in 2009. 

Virginia State Police are looking at the stabbing of State Senator Creigh Deeds and the death of his son, Gus, as an attempted murder and suicide.

Creigh Deeds was stabbed several times in his head and torso Tuesday morning. Gus Deeds died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

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