By Karen Kirk:
“Good afternoon. I’m Jennifer Wexton and I’m going to repeal and replace Barbara Comstock,” the Virginia State senator told the audience at The Good Ole Girls brunch on Sunday at the Tysons Corner Marriott.
Wexton, who is running for the CD-10 seat, said that like many of us after the 2016 election, she just wanted to pull the covers up over her head. “But I think most of us realized that we can’t just stay under the covers for the next 4 years so we ultimately came out and seeing what the administration has been doing — the attacks on the institutions that are here to keep us safe, institutions like the free press, institutions like our intelligence community, and attacks on civility, the rule of law, immigrants, women, the environment, I knew I had to step up again and run for Congress.”
“So this is going to be an election about contrasts because Barbara Comstock and I are both women and that’s about where the similarity ends.”
- On women’s health:“Barbara Comstock has said more than once that she wants Roe vs Wade overturned, and with Donald Trump making appointments to the Supreme Court, she may get her wish so it’s more important now than ever that we have members of Congress who are pro-choice and fight to do things like fully fund Planned Parenthood. I will do those things in Congress.”
- On health care: “Barbara Comstock has voted 6 times to repeal Affordable Care Act and rip health care coverage away from millions of Americans. She voted to eliminate the individual mandate which has spiked insurance premiums for everybody and thrown the individual markets into chaos. I on the other hand along with (Loudon, VA Delegate) Karrie Delaneyand my friends in the General Assembly have expanded access to affordable healthcare to 400,000 Virginians.
- On guns: “Barbara Comstock is the top recipient in money from the NRA — bought and paid for by the gun lobby. I have been fighting for years for common sense gun violence prevention and gun safety legislation. I will do the same thing in Congress.”
Wexton then outlined the contrasts on how each candidate deals with this president, saying “because while drafting our Constitution, our forefathers foresaw that we could have a president like Trump, but what they didn’t see was that we could have a Congress that enabled him.”
- “So when white supremacists were marching in Charlottesville and violence erupted and a woman was killed, the president said there were good people on both sides. Where was Barbara Comstock? Silent.”
- “When the president ripped thousands of children away from parents at the border and closed the borders to people just because of their Muslim faith, where was Barbara Comstock? Silent.”
- “Sensing a pattern here? And when our president traveled to Helsinki and threw our intelligence community under the bus in favor of his friend Vladimir Putin, where was Barbara Comstock? She was silent once again.”
“We need to elect somebody who is going to truly represent the people of this district who is not only able to go to Washington and get things done, and have positive results for constituents, but is going to stand up and be a check on this president. Barbara Comstock has not done that. She has been his enabler and those days are numbered. This is a seat that is a must win for Democrats in Virginia.”
Wexton said that everything is going very well in the campaign. “After a very spirited primary, there were 7,000 more Democratic votes cast than Republican ballots. That’s incredible because we didn’t have a contested race at the top of the ticket. Another interesting statistic is that in Loudon County, my home county, where about half of the votes where the 10thare, I received 1,000 more votes in my 6-way race than Barbara Comstock received in her 2-way race.”
“But anybody who looks at those numbers and thinks that this the race and is in the bag does not know Barbara Comstock, Wexton said. “She is extremely well-funded by PACs and special interests. Preserving her seat is priority one for Congressional Republican leadership and for groups like the NRA, Susan B Anthony’s list, the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson.
She asked for help from volunteers to knock on doors, make phone calls, host parties and write checks.
Wexton said her campaign is trying to get debates on the schedule, but Comstock is not willing to debate in a forum in which she does not have the control. “We’re working on it.” she said.
She thinks she’s make headway in Great Falls with a staging location and a very active core of volunteers. She said there are more Democrats in Great Falls than people realize and more arriving all of the time. Her campaign is going to have plenty of yard signs, which is one of Comstock’s strengths.
Wexton thanked the The Dems, twin sisters Ingrid and Judith Morroy, who rewrote Donovan’s “Jennifer Juniper” into a campaign song “Jennifer, Jennifer,” and performed it at the brunch. But Wexton said that her favorite Dem Girls song is “Virginia Doesn’t Own My Vagina,” which she said was “amusing and frightening” at the same. The duo performed it at the end of the program, saying that it was written by Libby Wiebel and her version is up on YouTube.
The Good Ole Girls is a community of Virginia Women who meet for brunch periodically to discuss politics and promote women’s issues. Envisioned two decades ago by Lynda Robb, daughter of President Johnson and First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson, and wife of Chuck Robb, former Virginia governor and U.S. senator, to encourage Democratic women to run for office and to involve more women to support them.
Karen Kirk is the Deputy Editor/Photo Editor of The Blue View and a retired journalist who worked for the Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service, which later became the McClatchy/Tribune News Service.