Virginia Senate Race Heats Up

By: Michael Gorsegner
By: Michael Gorsegner

September 4, 2006

Labor Day kicks off the unofficial sprint towards Election Day and this year Virginians have the hotly contested race in the Senate. For the 36th year, candidates vowing for state office took part in a Labor Day parade in Buena Vista. They political parties were out in full force today, trying to win one of the highest offices in the Commonwealth.

Senator George Allen made the 1.5 mile Buena Vista Labor Day Parade route on horseback, pushing his agenda and trying to distance himself from a tough month of August. The month included negative national attention after a verbal assault on a Jim Webb campaign worker at a stop in Southwest Virginia. Allen seemed more interested in questioning Webb's stance on the War on Iraq.

"It's hard to say where he is other than he was even against military action in 1991 to get rid of Saddam Hussein from Kuwait," said Senator Allen.

However, Webb was noticeably absent from the days festivities, instead choosing to spend time with his son Jimmy, a U.S. marine who is heading back to Iraq this week. Governor Tim Kaine and former Governor Mark Warner picked up the slack, calling for a change.

"I think most Americans regardless of political party know that the President [has] us heading in the wrong direction," said Former Governor Warner.

As the stretch run approaches, both parties vow to driver their message home.

"Rather than strategies of retreat, I believe we need strategies for success. We need to adapt. We need to involve obviously countries in that region," Senator Allen said.

"We need a United States Congress and Senators that will be an independent voice. The incumbents vote 97% of the time with the President and I think Jim Webb will bring that independent voice," Former Governor Warner said.

The two candidates will have plenty of chances to spar in the coming months. They are scheduled on NBC's "Meet the Press" on September 17th and the following day will have their first public debate in Fairfax County. A statewide televised debate is also scheduled for early October.

Two recent polls have the race almost in a dead heat. It's going to be an exciting fall here in the Commonwealth!

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