Warner to headline Shad Planking

WAKEFIELD, Va. (AP) - U.S. Sen Mark Warner is set to be the featured speaker at the 66th annual Shad Planking, a political rite of spring in southeastern Virginia.

Warner's potential Republican opponent, Ed Gillespie, is also set to attend the annual beer-and-fish political picnic Wednesday.

Held at the Wakefield Sportsmen's Club, the Shad Planking historically has been a must-attend event for Virginia politicians and candidates. Some Democratic candidates have skipped the party in recent years as the event has titled heavily Republican.

In the middle of the 20th century, Shad Planking began as an event where the segregationist Democratic machine would select candidates for statewide office.

The event is sponsored by the Wakefield Ruritan Club, which donates the proceeds to charity.