Nov 3, 2009

RNC Chairman Michael Steele visits local area on campaign tour

by Melinda Zosh

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Michael Steele arrived in Lynchburg early Friday morning encouraging constituents to vote for gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell in today’s election.

Hundreds of Lynchburg residents waited outside the Republican Victory Center on Wards Road for McDonnell’s arrival. Lieutenant Governor candidate Bill Bolling, Attorney General Candidate Ken Cuccinelli and U.S. Congressman Bob Goodlatte made appearances and joined the victory campaign.

After the speech, Steele mentioned the importance of this election for Liberty students.

“To the Liberty crew, I’m saying this is your opportunity. This is your chance to put your imprint on a campaign, on an election, on the direction of the state,” Steele said.

“You may just be a student in your mind, but you’re not, you’re more than that,” Steele said. “You’re part of a community, you’re part of the citizenry of this state, and of this community … and to be a part of that is important.”

Steele pointed out that several political issues in this election are relevant to college students.

“Everything that’s happening now at the state level and at the federal level comes home to roost with young folks when you enter into that job market, when you start that business, when you try to raise your family and you try to grow your community,” Steele said. “Policy matters and your involvement with
that policy matters.”

McDonnell told approximately 200 attendees that he is ecstatic to be working with Steele.

“I am so tickled to be here with the chairman of the RNC. He’s my largest donor,” McDonnell said. “I love Michael Steele. More than that he has given all of us the resources from the early days … to get a great start in this campaign.”

Steele confidently told the crowd that McDonnell will win the election, but it is up to the voters to make that happen.

“(McDonnell) has a vision for Virginia that is awesome, because it empowers people,” Steele said. “It’s about job creation, wealth creation, ownership and opportunity … It’s not about government control and takeover. It’s about you, the people.”

Steele emphasized the importance of voter turnout on Tuesday.

“If you think you’ve done a lot, you haven’t done enough. If you think you’ve done enough, you haven’t done anything,” Steele said in his speech. “This team for Virginia needs your help to get elected.”

Steele said the upcoming election is “transformative,” because it will bring “fresh, new leadership to the table.”

“This election … is a re-establishment of the Republican party that’s adhering to its principles and translating those principles to everyday life,” Steele said.

Voters are excited about McDonnell and the other candidates, Steele said. He believes this election will have national implications for the Republican party in 2010 and afterwards, because it will “re-establish the brand of the party.”

“This election will (help the public see) a party that first listens to the concerns of the people and then responds with smart … family-focused policies that make a difference and I think you see it right here in this state, in this campaign,” Steele said.
Bolling said that this election will “restore conservative leadership.”

“It’s the dawn of a new day in Lynchburg and in four days it’s the dawn of a new day in Virginia,” Bolling said.

The future of the nation depends on this election, according to Bolling

“We want you to fight like the future of your state and country depends on it, because it does,” Bolling said. “It’s going to be a great victory for the greatest state in the greatest nation the world has ever known.”

McDonnell referred to Lynchburg as the “home of the Liberty Flames,” adding that he saw “many of them” in the crowd on Friday morning.

“I still pinch myself and think here I am just an average middle class man from Northern Virginia, and I’ve got the opportunity to serve in the footsteps of Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson,” McDonnell said. “That’s the American dream that’s alive and well in this great country.”

Contact Melinda Zosh at

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