Republican and Tea Party Round-Up Stresses Importance of Voting this Fall
By Caitlin Davis
Sep 24, 2012, 12:26
photo by Caitin Davis Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling talks politics with County man Chuck Myers.
With the Nov. election 43 days away, the Prince George Republican Committee hosted a “round-up” of G.O.P. and Tea Party incumbents and contenders as part of the process event attendee Lt. Governor Bill Bolling described as “firing up the troops.”
On Nov. 6, voters will choose between George Allen and Tim Kaine for the U.S. Senate, Randy Forbes and Ella Ward and Dean Longo and Robert C. “Bobby” Scott for the 4th and 3rd districts in the U.S. House and Mitt Romney and Barack Obama for the presidency.
Although the election includes races for national leaders, the Saturday afternoon event at Scott Park was a community affair that offered a meet and greet between candidates and and Prince George voters, presenting an opportunity to discuss issues local people face.
Barbara Tabb, Chairman of the Prince George Republican Committee, told those in attendance to talk to neighbors, friends and family to spread information in the remaining days before the election.
Tabb said the event on Saturday was an awareness event that gave those in Prince George and the surrounding communities a chance to meet the candidates and ask questions before heading to the polls in Nov.
“On the day of the election, that night, look in a mirror and ask yourself what did I do that made the election come out this way,” Tabb said. “Or ask yourself what didn’t I do to make the election come out this way.”
Bill Robertson, with the Prince George Board of Supervisors, said this is the year that the community needs to build up a commitment to go to the polls to vote, since this election will be a landmark election.
“If we continue the way we are going, we will be in dire straits,” Robertson said. “I can’t guarantee you it will be any better if we go the other way, but it can’t be any worse. We’ve got to make a change.”
Robertson urged attendees to take advantage of the afternoon with elected officials and candidates.
“We want you to talk to the individuals,” Robertson said. “Talk to them. If you have questions ask; see if you can find answers today.”
Dean Longo, who is currently running to represent the 3rd District in the U.S. House, thanked the crowd gathered in Scott Park on Saturday for being amongst a group he said is too small.
photo by Caitlin Davis
“A lot of people talk about the direction this country should go in,” Longo said. “A lot of people complain about the direction it’s going in, but very few people go out and make sure that it’s gong in the direction that it should. You are those people.”
Longo echoed Tabb and his fellow speakers on the subject of the importance of voting in Nov. and said it is time to make a difference in Virginia.
“We will make that difference. You will make that difference,” Longo said. “It will make the difference between an economy that’s run by the government or free market society...the difference between equal opportunity to succeed and reliance on the government. Those are the differences you can make.”
Chuck and Mary Myers, of Prince George, spent Saturday afternoon shaking hands with candidates. Both said the event was important, especially with the election less than two months away.
“We need to support our candidates,” Chuck said. “We need to change the situation that our country is in right now. We need to change the previous change.”
Mary said holding events at the local level is as important as holding events at the national level.
“It is important to have grassroots people,” Mary said. “They’re doing the same thing the big guys are doing. We need to support from the bottom at the local level all the way to the top.”
Riley Ingram, R-62, was busy shaking hands and speaking to community members and other candidates. He too said the election this year is very important and that the weekend round-up was almost like getting ready to go into battle.
photo by Sarah Steele Wilson Del. Riley Ingram shakes hands with those in attandance at the round-up on Saturday in Prince George.
“Having all these people here is like rallying the troops to go into battle,” Ingram said.
He said that there is only one thing he wants to tell the community before they vote in November.
“What I want them to do is think, really think,” Ingram said. “Think about our country and vote. “
Ingram also discussed the issues facing Hopewell and the entire Tri-Cities area.
“Jobs, jobs and more jobs,” Ingram said. “...what we need is for people to start making money so they will start spending money and help this economy.”
Lt. Gov, Bolling said that those who were at the event were making a difference for America.
“We need to have an honest conversation with the people of our country,” Bolling said. “We need to have an honest conversation about where the country is, where the country is going and where it needs to be going. Our country is in serious trouble.”
Bolling noted what he considers to be one the biggest problems with the country: the economy.
“We’re mortgaging our children’s futures,” Bolling said. “We’re spending money we don’t have to keep promises we can’t keep.”
Bolling quoted famed New York Yankees pitcher Yogi Berra, who said, “When you come to a fork in road, take it.”
“We all know if you take the right fork that’s okay, you get to the right place,” Bolling said. “If you take the wrong fork, you get to the wrong place. Four years ago America went down a very wrong road. We took a very wrong fork.”
Bolling thanked those present who were continuing to campaign for his party.
“In every defining moment in the history of this country, there have been a group of people who have been willing to stand up and get engaged to save America. We are counting on you to be that group of people in this generation. The group of people who stands up and saves the soul of America...give this everything you have for the next 45 days.”
After his speech, Bolling said locally focused events like Saturday’s were important, even to national elections, because it was a way to rally current supporters and encourage them to speak to undecided voters.
“We are firing up the troops and getting everybody energized and engaged,” Bolling said.
He said that in the remaining days, he expects to see most undecided voters gravitate towards the Republican candidates because, he said, the party is more energized and engaged that their Democratic rivals.
Bolling said he enjoyed Saturday’s event, because he could see that energy in the attendees.