Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to the Washington suburbs Thursday night to campaign for Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic nominee in the Virginia gubernatorial race, whom she admitted looks closer than she once expected.
“This race is tight,” Harris told hundreds of enthusiastic supporters in a parking lot outside a county fire station in Dumfries, about 30 miles south of Washington and part of the rapidly expanding northern Virginia that once was A key driver has been in turning it from a red state into a blue one more reliably. “And we have to make it clear, Virginia, that we’re paying attention. We have to make it clear that we’re not taking anything lightly.”
Although Republicans haven’t won statewide office here since 2009, recent polls show McAuliffe — who was governor from 2014 to 2018 — in a potentially close race with Republican former business executive Glenn Youngkin. Harris is part of a parade of up-and-coming Democratic stars in the state who try to energize their base in an off-year race the party hopes can gain momentum in the 2022 midterm election – when Congressional is on the narrow control line.
Youngkin visited a boys and girls club in the Richmond area on Thursday. He and McAuliffe are both taking bus trips for the weekend, with Election Day approaching November 2.
Republican National Committee spokeswoman Elizabeth Wray issued a statement dealing with Harris’s US-Mexico border policy and adding her visit, “She would fit right in with Terry McAuliffe’s failed campaign.”
Harris, who turned 57 on Wednesday, laughed and watched McAuliffe as some in the crowd sang “Happy Birthday” at the start of his speech. “You know what I want for my birthday? I want this person to be elected governor.”
Harris had already recorded a video praising McAuliffe that his campaign says will air in more than 300 churches across the state before November 2. Her stop in Dumfries was preceded last week by Jill Biden, the first woman to move to suburban Richmond, and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, speaking at a trio. Black churches in Norfolk — and plan to return for a rally in the college town of Charlottesville — this weekend.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms also campaigned for McAuliffe, and former President Barack Obama will be here this weekend. President Joe Biden is due next week in the Washington suburb of Arlington, his second swing through Virginia during McAuliffe’s campaign.
Harris said Thursday that “the president will be here and always with Terry.”
McAullife made Youngkin a top priority to pledge to protect the integrity of the election if he wins the governorship, saying such a promise fueled conspiracy theories advanced by former President Donald Trump.
“We will have no confusion here. In 2020, Kamala Harris was elected vice president and Joe Biden was elected president,” McAuliffe said.
He didn’t call the race close, but said, “I don’t want you to sleep for the next 10 days. I need you. Start the game.”
Youngkin has largely stayed away from Republican political firepower from the outside. Instead, he has spent recent weeks trying to energize parent activists who oppose COVID classroom restrictions, curriculum he sees as “un-American” and school transgender policies.
Youngkin took on the issue after McAuliffe said during a gubernatorial debate last month, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” McAuliffe, meanwhile, has spent months trying to link his rival to Trump, who lost Virginia to Biden by 10 points last year.
At one point, Harris’ speech was interrupted by protesters and he eventually replied, “We will not be distracted. We will not refuse. We will not be distracted. This election is very important.”
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /