Democratic Candidates Ignore the Valley

By: Jarrod Aldom
By: Jarrod Aldom

The Democratic Presidential hopefuls seem to be ignoring the Valley. The candidates have been stumping for votes around Virginia. But not one of them has stopped here. WHSV set out to find out why that is.

You've heard all about them all weekend. The Democrats gearing up for the Virginia primary. They're in Richmond, Hampton-Roads, Roanoke, Washington, D.C....but not here.

"Virginia obviously doesn't have the electors that some of the big states have and they're going to concentrate their fire there," says David Wiens, the Chairman of the Harrisonburg Democratic Committee.

Wiens says there are several reasons candidates skip the Valley. It's generally a rural area, and doesn't have many registered Democrats. He says candidates have limited resources and need to concentrate on the larger areas in the state.

"These people have to go to use a trite expression where they can get more bang for the buck," says Wiens. "Why would you want to come here and pick up a few Democratic votes when you can go to the Hampton Roads area, where there's huge concentrations of Democrats."

One candidate did have representation in the Valley today however. John Edward's daughter Kate was at J-M-U, encouraging college students to vote. She says it's difficult for candidates to get everywhere because of time constraints.

"There are just so many places to visit and so little time," says the younger Edwards. "They try to do as much as they can fit in, but I guess that's why they haven't been able to hit every place."

Despite this being largely a Republican area, Weins says there is a vein of people in the Valley who don't like Bush.

That's why many people are supporting John Kerry, who they see as having the best chance to unseat him. Senator Edwards is at George Mason University tonight, John Kerry is in Roanoke, and Wesley Clark was in Tennessee.

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