By Joe Beck
WINCHESTER -- The importance of women voters to Democratic hopes in the fall congressional elections was on display Friday in Winchester with the opening of a field office for10th District candidate John Foust.
The opening at 30 S. Braddock St. drew about 75 enthusiastic supporters who heard Foust attack Republican opponent Del. Barbara Comstock of McLean on several issues Democrats regard as important to women.
Foust cited what he called Comstock's "extremist, partisan, right wing positions" on issues such Medicaid expansion in Virginia, birth control, and abortion as among the main reasons why voters should choose him in the November general election.
Foust said Comstock has stated she wants to see the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion overturned. He also cited a vote in favor of a so-called "personhood" amendment that critics believe would lead to the outlawing of some forms of birth control.
"She has said on national television that she considers equal pay for equal work a left wing agenda," Foust said of Comstock.
A voice mail message seeking comment from someone at the Comstock campaign headquarters was not returned.
Foust, a Fairfax County supervisor, said he would bring to Congress the same commitment to bipartisanship and problem solving that helped his county balance seven budgets in seven years, including one that had been projected to run a $620 million deficit.
"I know how to do this, and we will do it, but it takes a common sense, across the aisle, work together, problem solving approach," Foust said. "That's not happening in Washington, and I will tell you something else. It's not going to happen if you send my opponent to Washington.
"I don't ask what she says she's going to do. I point you to what she has done."
Foust, who is also from McLean, said in an interview after his speech that women's reproductive health "is such an important issue. You can't ignore it. It's so inappropriate for Republicans to be constantly coming between a woman and her doctor. We've got to do something about that."
Several local Democratic political leaders were at the event to show their support for Foust. Winchester council members John Hill and Evan Clark joined Berryville council member Mary Daniel, who warned the audience of dire consequences if Republicans keep control of the House of Representatives and win the Senate.
"This part of Virginia will make or break the election," Daniel said. "We need every vote we can get. No more tea partiers in office."
The Winchester headquarters was one of four that Foust opened in the district Friday. The others are concentrated in the eastern end of the district - Manassas, Leesburg and Chantilly.
John Morrison, former vice-chairman of the Winchester Democratic Committee and a 45-year veteran of political campaigns, said he was impressed by Foust's willingness to hire three full-time staffers for the Winchester office, which will also serve Frederick County.
"That's a pretty major commitment," Morrison said of the staffing.
Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or firstname.lastname@example.org