GOP fave: Allen invokes Brown's Mountain to help Hurt
State Senator Robert Hurt has brought out the big gun in the 5th District congressional race to unseat Congressman Tom Perriello, and for Republicans, there really isn't more of a hometown favorite than former governor and senator George Allen.
It was from Earlysville that Allen first ran for the House of Delegates in 1979, and his deep roots in this community were apparent when he walked into Hurt headquarters at Albemarle Square Wednesday and greeted many of the 40-plus party faithful by name.
With little more than a month before Election Day, and even less time to fill campaign coffers for a final push, Allen and Hurt campaigned in Danville September 28, hitting the renowned Short Sugar's barbecue joint. The pair headed north September 29, stopping at Saunders Brothers Farm in Piney River and the King Family Vineyard in Crozet before ending at Hurt headquarters.
Since losing his Senate seat in 2006 to Jim Webb following the infamous "Macaca" incident, Allen has maintained a relatively low profile. But he was keynote speaker at this year's Shad Planking, and he's blocked off several days this week to campaign and raise money for Hurt.
"Those radio stations and TV stations don't run ads for free," he reminded Albemarle and Greene Republicans, adding, "They're a private business and we respect that."
Though he's been a U.S. Senator and Representative, Allen was addressed as "Governor," and he invoked local landmark Brown's Mountain (where he lived during law school and later proposed to wife Susan) as well as Michie Tavern's fried chicken and stewed tomatoes.
He also took up familiar Hurt themes, decrying federal spending and the "healthcare experiment." And he called the cap-and-trade bill "a direct assault" on the coal industry.
"We believe it's time for a comeback," roared Allen, to enthusiastic applause. He was talking about Republicans in Congress in 2010, of course, but it didn't seem far-fetched that this crowd's enthusiasm could extend to another Allen/Webb match up in 2012.
–-original headline: GOP fave: Allen on hustings for Hurt