Rand Paul, Ted Cruz Stump for Virginia Republican Candidates

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It was cold and rainy, but approximately 150 people attended the Chesterfield GOTV Rally in a covered arena at Keystone Acres on Sunday afternoon. Senators Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) headlined the event. Virginia candidates Nick Freitas, Daniel Gade, and Leon Benjamin appealed to supporters to not only vote, but to encourage friends and community members to vote.

Paul said, “I was watching CNN last night or maybe it was MSNBC, and they said that in Virginia, ya’ll are just ready to lay down, you’re ready to trade your freedom because you want to be safe. You’re going to trade your liberty, you’re going to trade your freedom for security? Hell no!”

Paul played off the excited crowd, who responded to his cues with boos and applause. He described a leftward slide of the Democratic Party into socialism, called for the economy to reopen, said there is no national security reason for the U.S. to remain in Afghanistan, and questioned claims of institutional racism in the U.S. “We don’t hate each other,” Paul said.

Paul and Cruz both said they came to support Freitas.

“I want you to commit to vote for Nick Freitas ten times,” Cruz said. “Now look, we’re not Democrats. I can see some of the reporters pull out their notepads, ‘Ooh, I got a story here, voter fraud.’ No, I’m not urging voter fraud,” Cruz said.

“What I am urging is if you come out and vote on election day, and you find nine other people that wouldn’t have voted otherwise, and you get them to come out and vote, you’ve just voted ten times,” Cruz said.

Gade is running for U.S. Senate, Benjamin is running for Virginia’s 4th congressional district, and Freitas is running for the 7th congressional district. The three candidates reminded the crowd of the heritage of the Republican Party and Virginia.

“With respect to George Floyd by the way, we need to take seriously our obligation as Republicans to be part of the solution to the racial injustice that we see in our country. Remember, we’re the party that freed the slaves. We’re the party of the civil rights act. We’re the party that believes in individual liberty, so don’t ever let the left capture that narrative, because it’s a lie,” Gade said.

Benjamin said black voters are returning to the Republican Party. “We’re coming home to the party that says marriage and family is core to the success of any community,” Benjamin said. “We’re coming to the party that says we will protect our country, peace through strength, we will protect our borders, we will protect anyone, whatever religion you are. We will protect you. We’re coming home to the party that says we will no longer allow this to be a nation that hides their conservative values.”

Freitas said, “I’m watching people succumb to fear, to intimidation, to coercion. Ladies and gentleman, we come from finer stuff. We’re not just Americans, we’re Virginians. We’re the home of Jefferson, we’re the home of Madison, we’re the home of Washington. We’re the home of people that stood up in the face of the most powerful army in the world at that time, and took a barefoot army across the Delaware in the dead of winter in order to gain success, because we knew that what we were fighting for was so important, it was so special, it was so unique that it was worth it.”

“And that is, to be quite honest, that is the fire that we need to have right now.” Freitas said, “The question is, honestly: What kind of a people are we, what kind of a people do we want to be, and what sort of a people do we want to project to future generations?”

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Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and the Star News Digital Network.  Email tips to [email protected]
Photos by Eric Burk/The Virginia Star.

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