Comstock, Gillespie urge supporters to finish strong

By Joe Beck

WINCHESTER — Local Republicans packed the party’s campaign headquarters Wednesday to hear pep talks from the candidates running for the U.S. Senate and for Congress in the 10th District.

The mid-term election campaigns have entered their final five days, and Del. Barbara Comstock, R-McLean, admitted to the crowd that the strain could be heard in the hoarseness of her voice.

Comstock is running to replace U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Vienna, who is retiring after 17 terms.

The 10th District encompasses all or parts of Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, Frederick and Clarke counties. The Frederick County part of the district includes Winchester, Middletown and Stephens City.

Comstock told the audience that she would work to repeal President Obama’s Affordable Care Act and “turn around” what she described as “skyrocketing” health insurance premiums.

“My opponents says the increases in premiums that so many of you have told me about, so many businesses and so many individuals, he says that was anecdotal evidence,” Comstock said. “Well, you aren’t anecdotes. You are my constituents. You are the people I’m going to fight for.”

Comstock promised she would open and maintain an office in Winchester if she wins.

“We are going to be here,” Comstock said. “We are not going to leave here.”

Independent political analysts such as Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, and Washington, D.C.-based Charles Cook and Stuart Rothenberg have listed Comstock as a slight favorite against her Democratic opponent, Fairfax County supervisor John Foust, also of McLean.

Comstock urged her supporters to resist complacency and spend the next few days knocking on doors, sending emails and phone banking in an effort to turn out Republican voters.

Political prognosticators have classified Ed Gillespie as an underdog in his campaign to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Warner. Polls have also shown Warner in the lead. But Gillespie sounded undaunted when talking about the state of his race.

“We are going to surprise a lot of experts,” Gillespie told the crowd.

Gillespie touted his five-point economic agenda that he promised will create jobs, raise take home pay, “raise people out of poverty,” limit health care costs and reduce energy prices.

“We need to turn things around, and we need to have policies based on our constitutional principles of limited, effective government, and that’s what I’ve put forward,” Gillespie said.

Gillespie cited a recent report from Congressional Quarterly that found Warner had voted with President Obama’s agenda 97 percent of the time since 2009 as an example of why he would make a better senator.

“I will not be a blank check for the president,” Gillespie said. “I will be a check on him.”

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