May 20, 2013
Political experts say the ticket of candidates selected over the weekend by Republican delegates is the "most conservative in Virginia history."
Delegate Rob Bell, who represents the parts of Albemarle County, Fluvanna County, and Greene County, was running for attorney general. But he lost to his opponent, Senator Mark Obenshain.
"I'm disappointed," said Bell. "But if I had to lose, I'm glad I lost to Mark Obenshain."
Political experts at the University of Virginia Center for Politics say Obenshain and Bell are not that different politically, so the delegates likely decided based on something else.
"It probably did come down to name recognition," said Geoffrey Skelley, at the center. "The importance the Obenshain family has had in the Republican party over the years."
Obenshain is joined on the ticket by E.W. Jackson, a conservative minister, for lieutenant governor, and Ken Cuccinelli for governor.
"It's being called the most conservative Republican ticket in Virginia history," said Skelley. "Ken Cuccinelli is considered to be a very conservative candidate, and yet he actually might be the most moderate candidate on the ticket."
Bell agrees that it is a conservative group, but he says that's not a bad thing.
"How is it conservative to want to stop child sex trafficking?" Bell said. "How is that a conservative thing? Or wanting to say that you have to follow the constitution or that you shouldn't raise taxes? Those are not conservative things. We think those are just good things."
But local Democrats see nothing good about this trio's plans.
"Their agenda is going to put women back years and years, even decades," said Linda Seaman, the Co-Chair of the Charlottesville Democratic Committee. "They are very disrespectful to women's rights, about their health issues, and about their bodies."
Bell says he does plan to run to keep his seat in the House of Delegates.
The Democrats will choose their candidates for statewide office in a primary on June 11.
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