Despite the fact their candidates have not been very successful in Reston in recent elections, local Republicans are rallying for the November elections. According to Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell, transportation is one of the reasons why Northern Virginia’s electorate may get excited for their next Republican candidates.
"The Republicans have shown leadership in trying to solve the transportation problems" during this session of the General Assembly, said McDonnell. "[The Republicans] have put forward a significant proposal that is a statewide and a local plan, and it is a major step forward," he said.
Other issues important to Northern Virginians on which Republicans took leadership, according to McDonnell, are property rights for individual homeowners and internet safety for children. He called the region the Internet Capital of the World, and said he personally worked on establishing a task force made up of law enforcement representatives, parents, children and local internet companies to tackle on-line predators and other issues associated with the technology.
McDonnell was the keynote speaker at the Republican Club of Greater Reston annual Lincoln-Reagan Day dinner. The event, held on Friday night at Reston Community Center Lake Anne, drew about 55 people who listened to local Republican Party leaders explain the party’s objectives, especially as they relate to this November’s elections.
The Republican Party’s 8th Congressional District Chairman David Avella said the party must put forward candidates if it hopes to gain county and state seats in November. "How we connect with voters is what gets our candidates elected," said Avella. He said those positions serve as launching pads to the U.S. Congressional seats. The 8th Congressional District would work overtime so that "Our days of living under Jim Moran are over," said Avella, referring to the U.S. representative.
MORE THAN AN EARLY rally for November’s elections, the dinner featured speakers who honored Republican presidents past and present. John Palatiello of the Republican Club of Greater Reston said Abraham Lincoln was the great emancipator, while Ronald Reagan was the great communicator, before comparing President George W. Bush with the two. "Bush, like Lincoln and Reagan stands for all to be free, a God-given right for Democrats to see," he said in his toast before the dinner.
The Fairfax County Clerk of Circuit Court John Frey said the Democrats, led by chairman of the Board of Supervisors Gerald Connolly, want to take all of the elected positions in the county, including the position where he served for the past 16 years. "It’s been an honor to serve you for the last 16 years, and I am looking forward to next eight years," said Frey. He added that with Gary Baise, present at the dinner, running for the chairman of the Board of Supervisors position, the Republicans could start turning the political tide in the County. "We can turn this around," said Frey.
While the other speakers talked about local politics, McDonnell expanded to statewide, national and international politics. He said the Republicans in Richmond and Washington, D.C., were working on measures that generate greater consumer protection and public safety. Meanwhile, Americans worldwide are exporting the ideas of democracy to other societies, said McDonnell, whose daughter recently returned from serving in Iraq, and is scheduled to go back soon. "That is the legacy of Americans: to fight for the liberty of people they don’t even know," he said.
Before stepping down from the podium, McDonnell reminded the audience that 2007 marks the 400th anniversary of the settlers’ landing at Jamestown, and thus the 400th anniversary of Virginia. He said Founding Fathers from Virginia, such as Thomas Jefferson and George Mason, did more for the causes of freedom than people from any other state. "I don’t know about you but I am proud to be a Virginian," said McDonnell.