Senate Hopeful Gillespie Campaigns In the Valley

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) -- The recently decided Republican candidate for U.S. Senator Ed Gillespie made a campaign stop in Harrisonburg on Monday.

His supporters say he stands for economic growth, but Democrats say Senator Mark Warner offers a bi-partisan voice. Gillespie's supporters say it's time for a change from Warner.

"Though he sold himself as a conservative, a moderate, a few years ago, he spent the last five years 97 percent of the time voting with President Obama," said Chaz Evans-Haywood, a Gillespie supporter.

However, Warner's office said the Congressional Quarterly's number of 97 percent was taken out of context. They say two out of three votes are for federal appointments.

"Kind of tired of politicians that want to come back their sixth year and all of a sudden become the conservative voice again and the independent voice. He's not an independent voice and he doesn't have the backbone to stand up against the administration," said Michael Meredith, the owner of The Printing Express.

Gillespie wants to reduce business tax, "A lot of it has to do with excessive taxation and punitive regulations, and I think our policies could turn those things around," said Gillespie.

He also spoke about replacing Obamacare, "Create jobs and raise take home pay, hold down health care costs, lower energy prices," said Gillespie.

On the flip side, Warner's supporters already say their man is helping the economy. David Turner, a spokesperson for the Warner campaign released this statement:

"During his career, Senator Warner has always taken a bipartisan, commonsense approach to boosting Virginia's economy. He attracted nearly 130,000 new jobs to the Commonwealth as Governor and has introduced legislation to boost small businesses and incentivize companies to bring back high tech and manufacturing jobs in the U.S. Senate. This is why Republicans and independent news organizations alike have praised his ability to bring people together to solve problems."

Others say regardless of party, balancing a budget shouldn't include targeting one group.

"We shouldn't be the ones that are the first you look to to take our pay and benefits from us," said Steve Dansker, the president of the Shenandoah County Chapter of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees, NARFE.

With the upcoming election, grassroots efforts, like this rally, give people a chance to be heard.

"Yard signs, knocking on doors, doing interviews over the telephone, putting up bumper stickers," said Meredith.

Gillespie also stopped in Charlottesville and Winchester today. Warner and Gillespie will face off in November.


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