Democrats U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine and state Sen. Jennifer Wexton didn’t mince words at a campaign stop in western Loudoun Tuesday night.
“Polls are about preferences, but elections are about energy,” Kaine hollered above a crowd of supporters packed into B Chord Brewing near Round Hill. “We need to take this energy all the way to November.”
Wexton took to the mic and added, “My name is Jennifer Wexton and I’m here to repeal and replace Barbara Comstock.”
Both are on the midterm election ballot this November. Kaine is running for his second term in the U.S. Senate and faces a challenge from Republican Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors. Wexton, represented the 33rd District in the state Senate since 2014, is, as she mentioned, challenging two-term Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock in the 10th House District.
Kaine said during in his tenure in Congress he’s worked to solve Virginia problems and bring Virginia solutions to the national stage, and he’ll continue to do so. He accused his opponent, Stewart, of being too busy praising the president and bashing Hillary Clinton, former presidential candidate and Kaine’s running mate in 2016, to represent the commonwealth.
“We’ve got to have elected officials who will put Virginia first,” he said.
The senator and former Virginia governor said that no party has a monopoly on virtue. Kaine referred to his father-in-law, Republican Gov. Linwood Holton, as his political hero for leading the effort to desegregate Virginia’s public schools when Democrats wanted to keep them racially divided.
Noting that he’s been thinking a lot about the last three words of the Pledge of Allegiance—justice for all—he said President Donald J. Trump is not a “for all” guy. “He will fight with an ally, he will pick on Republicans, he will pick on Democrats, he’ll pick on peacefully protesting football players. I think we want elected officials—Democrat or Republican—who are for all people and can bring people together.”
But Kaine said he was proud to be a Democrat in 2018 and urged those gathered to support Wexton and him at the polls in November. “We are a ‘for all’ party right now.”
Wexton, a Leesburg resident, told the crowd that on primary day June 12, she garnered 1,000 more votes in her six-way race than Comstock did in her two-way race. “So the numbers are looking good,” she said. “We’re going to win this because when we come together, Democrats win.”
And in a nod to the event’s hosts, the state senator ended her comments by asking, “Who would you rather have a beer with—me and Tim Kaine or Barbara Comstock and Corey Stewart?”
The audience cheered, and one man in the crowd said, before raising a glass to his lips, “Well that’s easy.”
After their stump speeches, the candidates invited the bluegrass jam session that unfolds at the brewery every Tuesday night to pick up where they left off. But first, Kaine grabbed his harmonica to join the musicians.
He said, “Let’s get our bluegrass on.”