Warner’s Campaign Lawyers Finds No Basis for Recount

Sen. Mark Warner’s attorney for his reelection campaign stated Wednesday that there is not a basis for a recount in Virginia’s Senate race, reports The Richmond Times-Dispatch.

In a press call Marc Elias, chair of the Perkins Coie political law practice told reporters recounts “really only happen where you are talking about dozens or a few hundred votes separating the candidates.”

The Associated Press has yet to call the election for Warner. As of Thursday all but one of the 2,557 precincts in the state are reporting and Warner leads his Republican challenger Ed Gillespie by more tan 16,000 votes. This leaved Warner with 49.2 percent of the vote, Gillespie has 48.4 percent and Libertarian Robert Sarvis has 2.4 percent.

There is no provision in Virginia law for an automatic recount. Since Gillespie is within 1 percentage point he has ten days to request a recount.


New Voter ID Law Causes Little Issue in 1st Statewide Election

According to The Richmond Times-Dispatch, state and local officials reported no major issues with allowing registered voters to cast their ballots under the state’s new voter ID law requiring photo identification at the polls.

“The implementation of the new photo ID law has been going very smoothly,” remarked commissioner of the state Department of Elections, Egardo Cortes during a briefing in Richmond.

There was one report of a passport not being accepting as valid identification, but after further investigation from registrars in Richmond and Henrico County it was deemed untrue.

Voters in Virginia Beach and Newport News reported that selections other than their choices appeared on touch-screen voting machines. Officials from the state Department of Elections contributed these problems to the machines’ calibrations.

These machines were then taken out of use and were checked, according to officials, and both localities had enough machines that voting continued without delay. Out of Virginia’s 820 touch-screen machines in Virginia Beach, only 32 had to be taken out of service.

Gillespie Harnesses Last Minute Momentum

The Washington Post is reporting that at a rally yesterday morning Republican Senate candidate Ed Gillespie declared that momentum was on his side as the underdog seeks to unseat the incumbent, Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Warner.

“I honestly believe we overtook him this weekend and that tomorrow we’re going to surprise a lot of experts in Washington, D.C. and have a big, big day,” remarked Gillespie at a Republican campaign office in the Richmond suburbs, where supporters congregated to help him kick off his last push before the polls opened today.

In a last-minute appeal to voters leaning toward the Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis, Gillespie said he more closely reflects their views that Warner.

Gillespie is a former White House adviser, lobbyist and Republican National Committee chairman and is making his first bid for office by challenge Warner, a former Democratic Governor running for his second term. While Warner has a reputation as Virginia’s most popular political figure, Gillespie is challenging him in a year where President Obama’s low approval ratings have nationally had a negative impact on Democrats.

“You can feel the momentum,” Gillespie remarked. “We’ve been seeing big crowds and energy and enthusiasm everywhere we go…You can just feel it on the ground. At the end of the day it’s the votes that matter. And it’s the energy, and the intensity and the enthusiasm. hard work beats big money every time. And we’ve got a hard working group of volunteers. We call it the G-Force, a volunteer army who are truly energized and excited about this campaign. I honestly believe we’re going to win this race and make a big impact on the country we love.”

Warner Fights to Maintain Lead

Sen. Mark Warner D-Va., and his Republican challenger Ed Gillespie have finished their final debates and are taking their campaigns to the airwaves as the polls show the race between the two closer than ever, reports The Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The candidates also filled their final weekend to campaign with high profile supporters. Warner had events with Sen. John W. Warner, the Republican who held his Virginia senate seat for 30 years; Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Attorney General Mark Herring, former Rep. Rick Boucher D-9th, and Sen. Joe Manchin D-W.Va.

Wife of 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Ann Romney, will also make a stop in Virginia Monday  in support of Gillespie and Barbara Comstock, the 10th District Congressional candidate.

A poll released last week by Christopher Newport University showed the narrowest margin between Warner in Gillespie, with Warner leading 51 to 44 percent. 3 percent of candidates were undecided and 2 percent were voting for the Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis.

Warner is asking Virginians to vote him in for a second term. However, after Warner was drug into a scandal involving the resignation of former state Sen. Phillip Puckett D-Russell, Gillespie has been experiencing increasing support.

Ann Romney to Campaign in Virginia

The Washington Post is reporting that Ann Romney, wife of 2012 Presidential candidate Mitt Romney, will make a stop in Virginia Monday to campaign on behalf of Senate hopeful Ed Gillespie and 10th district congressional candidate Barbara Comstock.

Mrs. Romney will make a stop at a “get out the vote” event in Sterling, Va., the middle of the Loudoun suburbs, which contains many independent voters. Former Senator George Allen (R-Va.) will accompany her.

Both Gillespie and Comstock have ties to the Romneys that reach beyond party affiliation. Comstock worked on his presidential bid in 2008, and in 2012 she served as the Virginia campaign co-chair. Gillespie was an advisor for his 2012 campaign.

Mrs. Romney has not been as active on the campaign trail this year as her husband, but she has weighed in on a few races. Most recently, she spoke out on CNN after South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley was accidentally called a “whore”. She also tweeted “I stand wit my friend @BarbaraComstock for Congress-lawyer, businesswoman, public servant, Mom-all ‘real jobs,'”  after Comstock’s opponent John Foust questioned her job history.


Latest Poll Shows Virginia Senate Race with Seven Point Gap

A new poll is showing that U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner is leading Republican opponent Ed Gillespie by a mere 7 points, with less than a week before the midterm elections, reports The Washington Post.

The survey conducted by the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University shows that Warner (D) is leading Gillespie by a 51 to 44 margin. Only two percent of those surveyed chose the Libertarian Candidate Robert Sarvis.

Since the last poll on Oct. 7, Warner has not lost support; however, Gillespie support has grown as the pool of voters who were supporting Sarvis and who were undecided has shrunk.

More competition in the race has been consistently shown by polls as the election draws near, and this one finds that Gillespie is closer than he was on any of the previous surveys.

Warner still maintains a solid lead that would be hard for Gillespie to overcome with such a short time left. Warner remains more popular with Democrats than Gillespie is with Republicans, and he also wins the majority of independents and self-described moderates.

“The Warner advantages…that he was in a strong position within his own party, had a solid toe-hold with Republicans, and had a good position amongst ideological moderates-seem to have held from start-to finish” remarked Quentin Kidd, director of the Wason Center.

Brat and Trammell Discuss Ebola in Final Debate

On Tuesday Republican Dave Brat and Democrat Jack Trammell, congressional candidates for Virginia’s 7th district participated in their final debate at Randolph-Macon college, reports The Richmond Times-Dispatch.

With one week to go before the midterm elections, Brat and Trammell, who are both professors at the college discussed their positions on topics such as health care reform, the federal response to Ebola, immigration and the minimum wage among others.

The 15 year colleagues and occasional intramural basketball teammates disagreed on potential decisions regarding Ebola, including whether or not Congress should enact flight bans from the three West African nations most affected by the disease.

Trammell stated that he is “hesitant to act out of fear,” continuing that America should “use targeted flight bans and not bring out economy to a new halt with draconian measures that are not targeted.”

Brat disagreed, saying “we should have quarantined the Western Africa nations and the flights coming in.” He compared Ebola to an economics event called “a black swan event” adding that there is “a very low probability event that has catastrophic consequences.”

Gillespie Criticizes Warner on Silence on Redskins Name Change

The Monday Night Football game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins gave Republican Senate candidate Ed Gillespie the perfect opportunity to debut his new attack ad. The ad criticizes  incumbent Democrat Mark Warner for his silence on a proposed Senate bill that would put added pressure on the Redskin franchise to change their name, reports The Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The ad alleges that Warner “refused to answer if he supports the bill or not” and asks why the Senator won’t “fight the anti-Redskins bill.”

Gillespie then goes onto say “I’ll oppose the anti-Redskins bill. Let’s focus on creating jobs, raising take-home pay and making our nation safer, and let the Redskins handle what to call their team,” delivered with a smirk on his face.

On Thursday some Senate Democrats introduced legislation on Thursday that would take back the NFL’s tax-exempt status if they continue to defend the Washington Redskin’s name. Warner has not yet joined this effort as he, along with Virginia’s other senator, Tim Kaine (D) refused to join the group urging the name change.

A spokesman for Warner said, “Senator Warner believes that it’s not for Congress to dictate what the league does. He believes that over time, team names will change to reflect the times, as has happened with the Washington Wizards.”

Proponents of the name change hold that the term Redskins is derogatory to Native Americans. The team receives much support from Virginia as it’s training camp is located in Richmond.

Brat and Trammell Put Randolph-Macon in the Spotlight

Randolph-Macon College, a small liberal arts school in Ashland, will host a debate on Tuesday between Republican Dave Brat and Democrat Jack Trammell, candidates for the 7th District Congressional seat, both of whom are professors at the school, reports The Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The students who will comprise most of the audience are excited about the national attention being brought to Randolph-Macon as a result of the race.

“When the debate comes along and it’s getting closer to November, I think the excitement is going to be really big around campus”, commented junior Allison Carpenter adding, “We’re such a small school and a lot of people really don’t know about us, but now we’re the political center of the universe.”

Randolph-Macon has an enrollment of 1,300 students and 95 full-time faculty members, with Brat among them teaching economics and business, ethics and International Studies since 1996. Trammell came to the college in 2000 to teach sociology, Introduction to Disability Studies, Disability in America and General Education as an associate professor.


Brat, Trammell and Carr Meet for Goodlach Forum

On Thursday Dave Brat, Jack Trammell, and James Carr met at Benedictine College Preparatory to for a Goochlach Chamber of Commerce event, reports The Richmond Times-Dispatch. The candidates for Virginia’s 7th District made their cases before the voters and clarified positions on a number of topics.

In the first and only joint appearance by the three candidates, Republican Dave Brat, Democrat Jack Trammell and Libertarian James Carr, discussed healthcare reform, immigration, taxation, partisanship in Congress and background checks for gum owners.

Brat further promoted his ideas which are based on free market principles, social and fiscal conservatism, and a limited federal government. “I want to take my skill set up to Washington and fix economic problems and restore confidence in basic American values and institutions,” said Brat.

He added that “The Affordable Care Act is crushing job creation and small businesses across nine counties and cities in the district.” Brat also pointed out that in November 250,000 Virginians will lose their health insurance and that businesses are facing up to a $1.7 trillion burden.

Democrat Trammell, who is also a professor with Brat at Randolph-Macon College, expressed the need for Republicans and Democrats to work together and also highlighted his support for a comprehensive immigration reform plan, and tweaks to the Affordable Care Act. “Business as usual (in Congress) is simply not an option at this time, and this moment provides us with the chance to do something about it,” remarked Trammell.

Carr criticized Brat’s stance on illegal immigration, saying that it undermine’s the Republican beliefs in free-market principles.

“My opponent doesn’t understand that the labor market is a part of the free market. If you are going to apply a principle, apply it to the entire spectrum,” Carr remarked, adding that he has no problem with open immigration to the U.S., “as long as we know they are here. We need to let the people who are here contribute to the economy–keep them in.”

All three of the candidates agreed that the collecting of phone record data by the NSA was a clear federal overreach. They also stood together in support of Second Amendment rights, but all had different ideas of how the government should regulate those rights.