July 7, 2012
Presidential candidate Mitt Romney's campaign set up shop in Albemarle County Saturday as part of a statewide grassroots effort for the Republican to gain ground in a major swing state.
"We hope that folks will get energized and get mobilized and get involved in the campaign," said Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, who spoke to local GOP members who gathered at the new Romney victory office Saturday morning.
The victory office is at the Albemarle County Republican Committee's headquarters in Albemarle Square.
"We need everybody that's concerned about the future of the country go get behind Gov. Romney," Bolling said.
The state GOP says it's planning the largest get-out-the-vote operation in Virginia's history.
"We also know there are folks out there who are teetering, and I think our message is what's going to get us through the front door," said Albemarle GOP chair Cindi Burket.
Virginia is proving to be a pivotal swing state. In 2008, President Barack Obama took the commonwealth's 13 electoral votes from Sen. John McCain in the election. Obama won Charlottesville with 79 percent of the vote and Albemarle County with 59 percent of the vote.
Those numbers, though, don't phase the GOP group.
"Mitt Romney is the right person at the right time with the right experience to get America back on the right track, and we think that's a message that resonates with every Virginian," Bolling said. "Doesn't matter what county, city or town they come from."
Votes for Romney are not the only mission for the local GOP. They also want to get former Gov. George Allen back in the U.S. Senate and make sure U.S. Rep. Robert Hurt is re-elected.
"[Romney is] going to need a good team in the Congress to work with him to get his policies enacted in our country," Bolling said.
Albemarle County's kickoff was one of three in Virginia Saturday. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli joined Allen at another victory office in Fairfax, and the state GOP chairman spoke at the Norfolk office.