UPDATE: Candidates Rally Hours Before Republican Primary

By: Laura Mammarella; Carlos Vergara Email
By: Laura Mammarella; Carlos Vergara Email

June 7, 2010

The long campaign for the Republican congressional nomination is in its final hours.

One day before the Republican primary for the 5th District, things are heating up between two candidates while another releases an unusual YouTube public announcement.

Jim McKelvey, has responded by press release to the media that state Sen. Robert Hurt's remarks while campaigning in Appomattox on Sunday were below the belt.

Hurt was upset about the comparison piece that showed he had a lot of similarities to current U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello, and said, "McKelvey's campaign piece was negative and untrue and politics as usual. We need some serious leaders. We need some grownups."

McKelvey responded with a statement, which read in part, "When Robert Hurt was given the choice of standing with fellow Republicans to vote against the largest tax increase in Virginia's history, Hurt instead voted for the tax increase. Hurt already lacks the courage of his convictions. We just can't trust Hurt's judgment."

Meantime, Laurence Verga, who suffers from a kidney ailment and is expecting a transplant, released a YouTube video denouncing what he calls "rumors" about his ability to do the job required if elected.

The other four candidates in Tuesday's primary are Feda Morton, Ken Boyd, Michael McPadden and Ron Ferrin.

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Republican candidates in the 5th District primary race have just one full day left to campaign.

From knocking on doors to making phone calls, candidates are trying to secure votes in hopes of facing off with incumbent U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello in November.

Isaac Wood from the University of Virginia's Center for Politics said state Sen. Robert Hurt is keeping a steady lead in the polls, but that could change on Tuesday.

Wood said as the incumbent, Perriello has significant advantages over the Republicans, which is why the candidates will need to unite behind one person after the primary.

"This time, he should have an easier opponent, potentially. Republicans won't be caught napping twice," he said. "They're really going to take the fight to Perriello."

Despite what happens at the polls Tuesday, county Republicans are planning a unity rally next Saturday at McIntire Park.

The polls open at 6 a.m. Tuesday morning. Voters need their voting card or another form of identification to cast their ballots.


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