Obenshain, 50, was first elected to the state Senate in 2003, and he has championed such causes as requiring photo ID for voters, private property rights and the prevention of elder abuse. He has been in private practice as a lawyer for 26 years. If elected, he has said, he will continue to “fight federal government overreach” in the manner of Cuccinelli.
In the general election, Obenshain will face Justin Fairfax or state Sen. Mark R. Herring (Loudoun); one of them will be nominated in a June 11 Democratic primary.
(Steve Helber/AP) - State Sen. Mark Obenshain gestures during his acceptance speech for the Republican nomination for Attorney General at the Virginia Republican convention in Richmond.
Legal teams for Herring, who’s ahead by 165 votes, and Republican stay busy ahead of next week’s recount.
At annual Advance retreat, some clamored for a change of direction while others vowed to stand pat.
Lawyers for the two candidates sparred over the procedures that will govern the ballot tally and the crucial days leading up to it.
About the contest for lieutenant governor, Alex Kish, 49, of Fluvanna County said he came to the convention prepared to cast his ballot for Jackson but didn’t expect his candidate to win. “I was surprised,” Kish said of the early results. “He’s articulate, I share his values, and I believe he can bring other people into the party.”
In his address to the eager convention crowd, Cuccinelli presented the race for governor as a clear choice: “[Do] we want a governor who will say anything and do anything to get elected? Or a governor with a history of fighting for Virginians with principled, conservative, straightforward leadership?”
Cuccinelli echoed frequent GOP contentions: that McAuliffe lacks a firm understanding of the commonwealth and that McAuliffe’s “only deep and abiding belief about Virginia is that he should be its governor.”
Cuccinelli portrayed his own record through a lens of compassion, drawing a line from his expressed support for the underdog to his opposition to abortion.
“Our commitment also includes fighting for the innocent who languish in prison because no one will hear their plea and caring for Virginians who struggle with mental illness,” Cuccinelli said. “It also means defending those at both ends of life — protecting the elderly from abuse as well as the unborn.”
The McAuliffe campaign denounced Cuccinelli’s speech. “In a speech designed to elicit cheers from only the tea party, Cuccinelli doubled down on that extreme agenda and reminded Virginians of his efforts to drive mainstream Republicans out of the party,” McAuliffe spokesman Brennan Bilberry said.
Laura Vozzella contributed to this report.