Whit­beck aims for state Se­nate in GOP’s hands

The Washington Times Daily - - Metro - BY BRE PAY­TON

John Whit­beck wants to cap­ture con­ser­va­tive op­po­si­tion to Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe in his bid to give the Repub­li­cans a ma­jor­ity in the evenly di­vided state Se­nate.

Mr. Whit­beck, chair­man of the 10th Con­gres­sional Dis­trict Repub­li­can Com­mit­tee known for mak­ing an anti-Semitic joke at a po­lit­i­cal rally in Septem­ber, an­nounced his bid for state se­na­tor in Dis­trict 33 on Mon­day night at the Loudoun County Repub­li­can Com­mit­tee meet­ing in the event there is a spe­cial elec­tion.

The dis­trict’s sit­ting state se­na­tor, Demo­crat Mark R. Her­ring, holds a ra­zor-thin over Repub­li­can Mark D. Oben­shain in the state’s at­tor­ney gen­eral race.

Mr. Oben­shain an­nounced plans Tues­day to re­quest a re­count in the tight race, which could up­set Mr. Her­ring’s 165 vote lead.

Just be­fore Mr. Whit­beck an­nounced his can­di­dacy to a room­ful of sup­port­ers wear­ing “Whit­beck for Se­nate” stick­ers, stu­dents from Pa­trick Henry Col­lege were paid $10 an hour to make hun­dreds of

phone calls to de­velop name recog­ni­tion among con­stituents.

“We told sup­port­ers that Whit­beck is a real con­ser­va­tive run­ning against Oba­macare, and that he will fight against Terry McAuliffe’s agenda,” said Rachael Cham­bers, Pa­trick Henry Col­lege Repub­li­can chair­woman who or­ga­nized the event. “As soon as peo­ple re­al­ized that they could counter McAuliffe by gain­ing a ma­jor­ity in the Se­nate, peo­ple got ex­cited about it.”

In his an­nounce­ment, Mr. Whit­beck echoed much of the same mes­sage to fight the Med­i­caid ex­pan­sion and Mr. McAuliffe.

If he be­comes the 41st Repub­li­can se­na­tor, he said he will “make sure that Oba­macare is not ex­panded in Vir­ginia.”

Ron Meyer, 23, a for­mer spokesman for the Young Amer­ica’s Foun­da­tion, also an­nounced his Se­nate bid.

Mr. Meyer said he hopes to win by cap­tur­ing the youth vote.

Long­time Repub­li­can Del­e­gate Joe T. May, who lost the 33rd Dis­trict seat in June to tea party fa­vorite Dave LaRock, re­port­edly is con­sid­er­ing a run as an in­de­pen­dent can­di­date.

Af­ter the De­cem­ber pri­mary, the Repub­li­can nom­i­nee will face Jen­nifer Wex­ton, who se­cured the Demo­cratic nom­i­na­tion in a party pri­mary last week.

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