With only four days remaining in the campaign and the 10th District seat in reach for the party for her first time three decades, Democrat LuAnn Bennett spent the day touring Loudoun with some heavyweight supporters.
The star of the delegation was Khizr Khan, the Gold Star father who delivered the most memorable speech of the National Democratic Convention in July when the Pakistani immigrant and Virginia resident criticized Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump for his anti-Muslim rhetoric. Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), Attorney General Mark Herring, Rep. Donald Beyer (D-VA-8) and Rep. Jim Hines (D-CT-4) also joined the entourage at times today.
Following stops at the Northern Virginia Community College and the ADAMS Center mosque in Sterling, the Bennett delegation was joined by members of the Loudoun Board of Supervisors and the Town Council for a rally and lunch at the Leesburg Diner.
Herring told his hometown crowd gathered at the restaurant that he had a front row seat at the convention and found Kahn’s speech “unforgettable.”
“Mr. Khan captured the attention of every person in that arena and across the nation with his message talking about the sacrifice that his son made, and all of us owe his son, Capt. Kahn, an incredible debt of gratitude for making the ultimate sacrifice,” Herring said. “Mr. Kahn has shown incredible courage stepping forward and talking about the values that truly make America great.”
“My family is a testament to the goodness of this country,” Kahn said. “The speech was against the un-American hate and un-American policies of exclusion,” Kahn said.
He said that Bennett was the best candidate to move the county forward after a very divisive election. “Our work after the day of election moves on to healing, reconciliation, holding hands, inviting other brothers and sisters to come and join us.”
Beyer also urged voters to back Bennett over first-term incumbent Barbara Comstock. The former Virginia lieutenant governor said that his predecessor in the House seat, Bennett’s former husband Jim Moran, generally worked well with Comstock’s predecessor, Frank Wolf, and he hoped to continue that Northern Virginia tradition. But, more often than not over the past two years, Beyer said he and Comstock just cancelled out each other’s votes—“hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of times.”
“We are at an historic moment in this country,” Bennett said, adding that Kahn is reminding citizens about the principles upon which the country was founded.
“I still believe in the ideal of American. I believe in ‘liberty and justice for all’ at the end of the Pledge of Allegiance that we all learn as children. That still has meaning to me and I want that phrase to have meaning to my grandson. So We have to fight when we hear this hateful rhetoric.”
Bennett’s Friday campaign tour is scheduled to wrap up tonight at the Park View High School football game.
That won’t be the end of the campaign push, however. Polls show Trump has significantly cut Democrat Hillary Clinton’s once-solid lead in Virginia and at least one poll shows Bennett leading Comstock for the first time. Both parties can be expected to raise their profiles in Loudoun County—a traditional bellwether for presidential races in Virginia and the heart of the 10th District—before polls close Tuesday. Already, Clinton’s campaign has announced that Vice Presidential nominee Tim Kaine will be called back to his home state on Monday to rally supporters in Northern Virginia.