By Lynn R. Mitchell
One longtime Valley Republican said the region could become pivotal in a close Warner-Gillespie race. “This will be a close election and the Valley may be important,” said Kurt Michael, the former chairman of the Augusta County Republican Committee. “If Staunton, Waynesboro and Augusta voters want to see Gillespie in there, they have to turn out.”
Michael recalls the 2005 state attorney general’s race between Republican Bob McDonnell and Democrat Creigh Deeds. “The turnout in the Valley put him (McDonnell) over,” Michael said.
Michael said divisions within the Republican Party locally may be contributing to a less effective ground game for Gillespie. “I’m not seeing the yard signs, the door knocking and I’m not seeing the literature dropped,” he said. “It’s a reflection of the party. We’re in a civil war now between the tea party and the mainstream party. They are so busy infighting they are not getting people elected.”
Political reporter Bob Stuart with the News-Virginian talked with political leaders in the central Shenandoah Valley about Tuesday’s election that has Republican Ed Gillespie and Democrat Mark Warner running for the U.S. Senate seat (see Senate race has meant for scant Valley visits). Turnout turnout turnout is the key.