Conservative alternative running for 10th District seat

By Joe Beck

A Capitol Hill staffer touting his credentials as a conservative crusader announced Wednesday he is running for the Republican nomination to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Vienna, in the 10th Congressional District.

Rob Wasinger, chief of staff to Republican U.S. Rep. Kerry Bentivolio of Michigan, vowed to give Republican voters what he described as a true conservative alternative to Del. Barbara Comstock, R-McLean, who has been gaining support from state and national party leaders.

Other Republicans in the race include Richard C. Shickle, chairman of the Frederick County Board of Supervisors, and Tareq Salahi, a travel and tourism adviser from Front Royal, best known as a former reality TV star and for slipping into a White House state dinner without an invitation in 2009.

“I’ve had a great reception among conservative activists throughout the district,” Wasinger said in an interview a few hours after his announcement.

Wasinger, 42, of Fairfax Station, condemned Comstock for several votes in the General Assembly that he argued amounted to support for abortion rights. He also said she voted in Richmond to confirm “pro-gay activist judges” to the bench and refused to sign a recent letter from Republican legislators protesting Attorney General Mark Herring’s refusal to litigate on behalf of the state’s ban on same sex marriage.

Comstock’s campaign did not return a phone message seeking comment.

“She’s a liberal masquerading as a conservative, and I find it disgusting,” Wasinger said of Comstock.

Wasinger’s political experience also includes a long stint as an aide to Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback when Brownback was a U.S. senator. Wasinger also ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination in a Kansas congressional district in 2010.

Wasinger holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Harvard University.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com