State Del. Barbara Comstock, the front-running candidate to succeed Congressman Frank Wolf in Virginia's 10th District, attended a fundraiser Saturday night at the Fairfax home of Penny Nance, a controversial leader of a conservative social issues advocacy group.
Nance, the CEO of Concerned Women for America, is known for her outspoken and fire-raising comments defending the pro-life movement. Nance opposes abortion in the cases of rape, has compared same-sex marriage to “counterfeit money” and likened legal abortions to the Holocaust.
Virginia Democrats and liberals used the fundraiser to take digs at Comstock, claiming the third-term delegate is outside Virginia's mainstream.
Anna Scholl, executive director of the liberal advocacy group ProgressVA, said she would have expected Nance to be more in Del. Bob Marshall's corner, referring to Comstock's top challenger, a well-known, hard-right voice in Virginia politics.
"With Comstock's record of voting for mandatory ultrasounds and personhood, it should be no surprise she's embracing the support of far right-wing extremists who oppose the Violence Against Women Act and compare a legal medical procedure to the Holocaust," Scholl said. "Bob Marshall better watch out. Comstock may profess to be a moderate but it's clear she's completely in line with Marshall and Nance's radical, anti-women's health agenda."
Earlier this week the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launched VirginiaPeasinaPod.com to highlight the similar voting record of Marshall and Comstock.
Susan Falconer, Comstock's campaign manager, responded to the attacks by saying her candidate is having dozens of events throughout the 10th District "bringing people together and building a strong coalition for victory."
"Liberal outside groups have constantly attacked Barbara Comstock in every election she has had and she continues to beat them time and again as a common sense conservative," Falconer said. "That is why she is the best Republican candidate in this race. She has stood up to the big spenders and big taxers and prevailed."
Comstock is being challenged by five Northern Virginia Republicans for the GOP nod, which will be decided through an April 26 firehouse primary. The Republican nominee will face Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust (D) in November's election.
This story has been updated from an earlier version.