With less than two days left before the polls open, Democrats on Sunday rallied behind former governor and U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine in Ashburn for one final push to sway voters.
Kaine’s visit to Loudoun was part of a multi-stop tour throughout the state over the weekend.
With Republicans threatening to take over the state Senate this year, Democrats are hitting the campaign trail hard to try and keep the scales from tipping.
“What these elections on Tuesday are about is balance in a state that needs more balance,” Kaine told the crowd of about 75 people. “… I say to my most vigorous Republican friends that you are better off if you’ve got balance in your state government then if you put all the reins of power in the hands of folks who are going to do very extreme things.”
Kaine told the crowd that the Democratic majority currently in the state Senate has been a voice for education and appropriate policies to keep the state’s economy strong.
With Republicans in the majority in the state House of Delegates, Kaine said the Senate has been busy during the last four years killing extreme pieces of legislation on immigration, the Second Amendment and abortion.
“Again and again the Senate are the adults in the room that are doing the right thing to keep Virginia going in the right direction,” the former governor said.
With voter turnout expected to be low, both parties are doing one final hard push to get residents to the polls on Tuesday.
However, Democrats at Sunday’s rally focused on the social issues of which they say Republicans have taken an extreme ideological stance.
“Anyone out there that cares about education? Anyone out there that cares about a woman’s choice? Anyone out here that cares about the environment? That’s why we need to elect all of these candidates on Tuesday because all of those issues are at stake on Tuesday folks,” Brain Moran, chairman of the Democratic Party of Virginia screamed to the crowd.
Both Kaine and U.S. Sen. Jim Webb pointed to the Oct. 31 email from the Loudoun County Republican Committee that showed a picture of President Barack Obama as a zombie with a bullet hole in his head as an example of the direction the GOP is headed.
“In Loudoun we saw an example of one of the most repellent kinds of politics, but unfortunately one that we’re seeing a lot getting perpetrated all around the commonwealth and the country and it’s one that you see from the other side that gives me more energy. It should give you more energy too,” Kaine said.
Kaine said despite apologies from local and state Republican leaders, the email should have never gone out to voters.
Even though he denounced the email, Kaine said Republican Party of Virginia President Pat Mullins has said in the past he refused to call Obama president but would rather call him the “resident” or the “occupant” of the White House.
Webb told the crowd the zombie Obama email was just one of several political pieces of propaganda Republicans have spread this election season, pointing to a flier produced by state Senate candidate Patricia Phillips that accuses Democratic Sen. Mark Herring of being anti-veteran. The flier, he said, featured a photo of a man in uniform, however the veteran was a Soviet naval officer.
“Now look, if the Republicans have decided that they have to attack us for not being sufficiently pro Soviet veteran, they obviously don’t have a lot to run on,” Webb said.
The crowd was especially pumped up behind candidate for the newly formed 13th state Senate District seat Shawn Mitchell, who is vying against former Republican House of Delegates member Dick Black.
As soon as Mitchell arrived at the event, the crowd began applauding and continued chanting the candidate’s name through the hour-long rally.
The state Senate race is one to watch on Tuesday as Republicans try and take back the majority in Richmond. The Virginia Senate currently seats 22 Democrats and 18 Republicans.
“… There are no more two important Senate races that those right here,” Moran told the crowd. “We must defeat Dick Black on Election Day.”
Two other state Senate races in Loudoun include the 27th District and the 33rd District. In the 27th District Republican Jill Holtzman Vogel is pitted against Democrat Shawn Broy. Independent candidate Donald Marro dropped out of the race, but his name will still appear on Tuesday’s ballot.
In the 33rd District incumbent Mark Herring is vying against Republican Patricia Phillips.
“If this Senate goes in the wrong direction and we have all the arms of government in one party, we’ve seen in other states the attacks on education in Wisconsin and Ohio. We’ve seen attacks on the environment. But we’ve also seen the kind of divisive nasty politics that’s come to define Washington and used to not define Richmond and our state politics,” said former U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello. “We don’t want to let people who put ideology and extremism over pragmatism and problem solving come down and bring that division into our politics in Richmond.”
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