Republican Ticket Makes SVRA Stop

Posted: November 4, 2013

Harrisonburg’s Mark Obenshain, Republican candidate for attorney general, fires up supporters Sunday with the GOP’s gubernatorial candidate, Ken Cuccinelli (left), during a stop at Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport. The SVRA visit was just one stop by Cuccinelli and Obenshain during a busy day of statewide campaigning. (Photos by Michael Reilly / DN-R)
Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican candidate for governor, signs the cast of Courtney Begoon, 9, of Crimora, following a campaign rally Sunday at Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport.
Lee Anna Cook, 8, of Staunton, holds a sign supporting Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli as he addresses the rally Sunday at SVRA.
Ken Cuccinelli supporters hold signs for the gubernatorial candidate during a rally at in the general aviation terminal at the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport on Sunday.
WEYERS CAVE — Republican candidates for state office made it clear on Sunday that two things aren’t welcome in Virginia — the Affordable Care Act and out-of-state funding for the election.
Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, running for governor, and state Sen. Mark Obenshain of Harrisonburg, vying for attorney general, visited the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport on Sunday in an 11th-hour campaign stop to rally supporters to get out of their comfort zones, knock on doors and help them win the race against the Democratic ticket of Terry McAuliffe for governor, attorney general candidate Mark Herring and Ralph Northam for lieutenant governor.
E.W. Jackson, Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, did not attend the rally. Campaign workers said Jackson, a Hampton Roads-area minister, was preaching.
Speaking less than two days before Virginia’s polls open Tuesday morning, the GOP candidates said that the outcome of the election is now in voters’ hands — along with the future of health care and the state economy.
Cuccinelli said he has been receiving emails from residents who say they have lost their health insurance or seen their premiums increase since the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as “Obamacare.” Cuccinelli was the first state attorney general to sue the federal government over the law when President Barack Obama signed it in March 2010.
Supporters cheered loudly on Sunday when Cuccinelli reminded them he fought the law the day it was signed.
“You can oppose expanding Obamacare with Medicaid expansion by voting for me on Tuesday, and we will send Washington a message: No more Obamacare in Virginia,” he said.
Cuccinelli also accused McAuliffe of running to be “head lobbyist,” to ask the federal government for more “goodies” for Virginia.
“You know what? We need less from the federal government,” he said. “We need to stand on our own two feet. More government hasn’t been working out so great for us, has it?”
The bottom line, he said, is that he will fight to limit the government, while McAuliffe will fight to make it bigger.
Obenshain said he would fight for smaller government, too. Virginia needs an attorney general that will stand up against the federal government when necessary, he said.
“We need to make sure that we have an attorney general who’s going to stand up to fight, to make sure our economy remains strong, that’s going to make sure we’re working to roll back job-killing regulations,” he said. “As Ken Cuccinelli has done time and again, when the federal government steps over the line, violates the law and adopts job-killing regulations, that we’ve got an attorney general that’s going to stand up and fight for Virginia. That’s what you’re going to get from me.”
Many of the speakers on Sunday criticized their opposition for running a “negative” campaign and taking money from out-of-state entities.
Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Pat Mullins lambasted McAuliffe’s relationships with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and various organizations that have donated money. Rep. Bob Goodlatte called McAuliffe the “political hat” of Obama and Bill and Hillary Clinton.
“They’re not just trying to buy a seat at the table, they’re trying to buy the table,” Mullins said.
Polls consistently show Cuccinelli trailing McAuliffe, although the amount has fluctuated.
Among the most recent voter surveys were ones conducted by Emerson College and Christopher Newport University that were released Friday. Emerson projected a 42-40 split in McAuliffe’s favor, and Christopher Newport projected a 45-38 split with the Democrat ahead.
Voters who crowded the Weyers Cave airport to get a look at the candidates for themselves said they feel the Republicans hold the keys to a better future for Virginia, and they trust the men running for statewide office. Some also expressed frustration with the way the McAuliffe campaign has portrayed Republicans during the race.
Ira Gelser, 78, who lives just outside Harrisonburg in Rockingham County, said he has been disturbed by how McAuliffe’s campaign has been so negative but hasn’t given a lot of information about what his own policies would be. He’s not sure how much Cuccinelli would be able to do if elected, though.
“Our problems aren’t Virginia problems,” he said. “They’re Washington problems. Until we can get a change in Washington, there’s not much we can do.”
Gelser said he was hopeful Cuccinelli would be able to help clean up Obamacare.
Another supporter, Ann Hanna, 60, who lives near Grottoes, said she trusted the candidates and wanted to see Cuccinelli for herself. She was holding a “Women for Cuccinelli” sign.
“We need more equality,” she said. “We need to be recognized as a force as opposed to the good old boys’ network.”
In a similarly last-minute campaign stop, Obama rallied for McAuliffe on Sunday afternoon at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington.
Cuccinelli said McAuliffe’s political relationships are indicative of goals that don’t line up with what Virginians need. He pointed out that he is the only candidate who has served Virginia in state office.
“Hey, look, I’ve got a border plan,” Cuccinelli said. “Let’s keep Terry McAuliffe’s D.C. politics on the other side of the Potomac.”
Contact Kassondra Cloos at 574-6290 or

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