The Washington Post

Luxe Homestead hosts Virginia House Republicans

Virginia House Republicans have spent the past two days in a world of spectacular mountain views, spa treatments and featherbeds “plumped just so.”

Is House Speaker William Howell daydreaming about his next escape to the posh Homestead resort? (Steve Helber/Associated Press)

About 300 people attended, including about 60 of the 68-member GOP caucus. Lobbyists, spouses and other guests tagged along, and Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) addressed the group Monday night.

We caught up with House Speaker Bill Howell (R-Stafford) as he was leaving Tuesday.

“It was very successful,” he said. “The weather was great, the mood was great.”

Great, however, did not describe our cell phone connection as Howell drove away from the mountain resort. It wasn’t clear if he’d said “mood” or “food.” Which was it?

“Mood and food,” he said with a laugh.

This was the seventh annual fundraiser at the luxe Hot Springs getaway, which Democrats also use to raise dough.

Republicans took in about $500,000 there last year. Howell said this year’s haul had not been tallied yet, but one Republican said it was expected to top last year’s.

Laura Vozzella covers Virginia politics for The Washington Post.



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