Sunday, August 12, 2007

George Allen Supports Area GOP Candidates at Fundraiser

Date published: 8/12/2007
by Tess Hamilton
The Free Lance-Star Newspaper

George Allen, former Virginia governor and senator, focused on local candidates and local policy at a Stafford County Republican Party breakfast and fundraiser yesterday--instead of any political plans of his own.

More than 60 GOP supporters and candidates gathered at Jimmy the Greek's restaurant in North Stafford to hear Allen speak.

Allen spoke warmly of the area republican candidates and the party's recent canvassing efforts.

He also alluded to the party's previous divisions--particularly the primary for the 28th district state senate nomination, which Richard Stuart won against a group of more conservative candidates.

"We've gone through the intra-squad scrimmage," Allen said, urging the party to unite and "get back to basics" as the campaign season intensifies.

Allen also encouraged area candidates to focus on strong law enforcement and national security, from supporting the war effort to controlling illegal immigration.
"If we can't control our own borders, we can't control our own destiny," he said.

Allen stressed the importance of immigration and customs-enforcement training for local police to address what he described as the federal government's failure on immigration policy. He also praised recent efforts by Prince William and other counties to limit illegal immigrants' access to public services.

But much of Allen's speech focused on energy, particularly his efforts to lift the federal prohibition on offshore natural gas and oil exploration on the Eastern seaboard.

Exploring around 50 miles off of the Virginia coast, he said, would bring more revenue into the state and increase both "national security and energy security."
Though Allen was the guest of honor, the event was also a campaign stop for Richard Stuart, who is looking to defeat democrat Albert Pollard for a seat in the state senate. Stuart's campaign seems to be emerging as the most important contest for the area GOP.

Allen reserved special praise for Stuart during and after his speech, and state Del. Scott Ligamfelter encouraged the audience to donate to Stuart's campaign after handing over a $500 check from his own political action committee.

Allen said that, though he stands behind all of the local republican candidates, he was "primarily" supporting Stuart's campaign.

Citing Stuart's experience as a prosecutor and his community involvement, Allen described him as a "top quality candidate."

Allen, however, says he will not be a candidate for governor or senator again any time soon.

Instead--due in Richmond that afternoon--he joked that the only place he would be running was "down I-95."


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