Although a small city in western Virginia, Buena Vista plays host to an important political event every Labor Day. Earlier today, politicians, their campaigns, and throngs of grassroots activists descended upon the community to participate in their annual Labor Day parade. This year, attendees included: Senator Mark Warner, former Governor and Democratic Senate hopeful Tim Kaine, former Governor and Republican Senate hopeful George Allen, former Representative and Constitution Party Presidential candidate Virgil Goode, Representative Bob Goodlatte, and his Democratic challenger Andy Schmookler.
The event had the one of the greatest concentrations of yard signs anywhere; from Interstate 81, the road into Buena Vista was lined. Along the parade route, signage was even thicker, forming a virtual fence between the spectators and those walking in the procession in many places. But which campaign was best represented in this aspect? Of all of the candidates, Tim Kaine easily won the sign war; his total number of signs more than doubled his next closest competitor, George Allen, while Bob Goodlatte placed third. Curiously, there were relatively few Mitt Romney signs and close to zero for President Barack Obama. This trend could lead one to think that no one had much of an interest in the race at the top of the ticket.
Unlike previous years where I promoted either a candidate or the GOP, today I walked in the parade on behalf of We rVirginia, a conservative grassroots organization based outside of Richmond. Although our group was considerably smaller than either the masses of Democratic and Republican volunteers, our folks were quite efficient, carrying our banner down the streets of Buena Vista while distributing hundreds of leaflets explaining both the purpose of the organization and comparing the stances of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.
As the Buena Vista Labor Day continues to grow in attendance and importance, it is becoming a virtual can’t miss event for those seeking office in either the 6th Congressional district or statewide in Virginia. Surprisingly, neither Lt. Governor Bill Bolling nor Ken Cuccinelli attended the gathering this year, but it is all but certain that whichever of these two men captures the GOP nod for Governor will have a huge showing in Buena Vista 2013 along with whoever wins the Democrats nominatation for Governor, as well as the various candidates for Lt. Governor and Attorney General.
See you again in Buena Vista on September 2, 2013!