Both men have a full slate of events remaining before voters pick a successor to retiring Sen. James Webb (D) — in a mad dash to Nov 6. that on Sunday saw Kaine run into Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) and two of GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s sons at the Korean Central Presbyterian Church in Centreville.
“I went to three religious services in three languages,” Kaine told the crowd at Eden Center in Falls Church. He praised the “rich and beautiful tapestry” of Virginia’s different ethnic groups.
Touring Eden Center, Kaine was asked to sign a menu at Saigon Restaurant and received bright smiles at Sunlight Travel Agency.
Citing the concentration of small businesses, Kaine called the state’s diversity an “economic strength.” He is hoping it’s also a political strength for him Tuesday: Kaine has courted the state’s different ethnic constituencies, particularly in rapidly growing Northern Virginia.
On Saturday night, Kaine attended a boisterous “Latinos por Kaine” event at El Gran Palenque restaurant, where he alternated between English and Spanish as he sought to fire up the crowd. The Democrat has put at least a quarter-million dollars into Spanish-language advertising.
J. Walter Tejada, vice chairman of the Arlington County Board, said Kaine recognized what it took to get the region’s Latino community motivated to vote.
“There has been an enthusiasm gap,” Tejada said. “So what he’s done is recognize that and explain to the community — in Spanish and English — why they should vote for him.”
Tejada said he also appreciated that “Kaine tells Latinos the same things he tells mainstream Americans,” and that the Democrat touted the need for immigration reform, regardless of the audience.
Allen, meanwhile, rallied his troops in Great Bridge, a community in Chesapeake where Americans ran off Virginia’s last British colonial governor in 1775. Right by the historic bridge site, in a strip center where Allen’s campaign office sits beside the Over the Rainbow crafts store, Allen and others urged about 90 supporters keep up the fight.
“The Battle of Great Bridge was fought just a stone’s throw, right over there, and we watched as some of the principles that we saw birthed in this country . . . [were] apologized for, rejected, kicked to the curb,” said U.S. Rep. J. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), who faces a challenge from Chesapeake City Council member Ella Ward (D). “We’re gonna turn those principles back up and put ’em on the pedestal that they need to be on.”