GOP Campaign Kicks Off

By: Whitney Holmes
By: Whitney Holmes

June 16, 2005

The primary is over and, for some it is time to celebrate. The state's top Republican candidates have spent the past two days touring the state and today they made a stop in our region.

In their version of an Air Force One, the all-star GOP ticket for this November's elections made their final stop on their around-the-state tour.

This ticket includes Delegate Bob McDonnell for Attorney General, Senator Bill Bolling for Lieutenant Governor and for Governor, former Attorney General Jerry Kilgore.

"I think it just goes to show that this ticket that stands before you today shares, believes in, and will fight for your Shenadoah Valley values," yelled Bolling to a screaming crowd of fans.

The conservative team is campaigning on 'honest reform.' Part of this honest reform is maintaining what they say are the mainstream of Virginia's values.

"I think values in Virginia mean fighting for principles of faith and family, protecting the right to life, and the second amendment, and the sanctity of marriage. Those are the principles of government and the values, I think, that have made Virginia a great place to live," said Bolling.

What doesn't make Virginia a great place to live, according to Kilgore, is wasteful government spending, which he plans to cut. The governor hopeful promises that when he does spend, he'll spend wisely.

"We are running a huge surplus in Virginia. This week's numbers are reaching 600 million dollars. That's 1.7 billion new dollars in growth over the past year alone," explained Kilgore. "We need to prioritize in Virginia. One of the priorities has to be education."

The Republicans are also tough on crime, promising to stop "coddling" criminals and instead protect victims. One key way to do this is to step it up on sex offenders. For this, McDonnell says he has already started a task force.

"I think we are going to have a number of reforms that will focus on accountability, more punishment up front for the pedophiles that violate children, and we are going to use new technology, [such as] GPS tracking systems," said McDonnell.

Although today's stop in Weyer's Cave was the last one on the tour, the campaign has only begun.

Kilgore's opponent is Lieutenant Governor Tim Kaine. Bolling's is Senator Leslie Byrne. McDonnell is running against delegate Creigh Deeds.

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