The Virginia Police Benevolent Association (VPBA) blasted the Democrat Party’s candidates for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general, after none of them showed up to a candidate screening event Thursday.
“We are concerned and surprised that none of the Democratic candidates were willing to meet with our representatives and discuss issues that are important to our members,” Sean McGowan, executive director of the VBPA reportedly said. “This is the first time in the history of the Virginia PBA that an entire ticket refused to meet with our law enforcement representatives.”
Former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, the Democrat gubernatorial nominee, current Attorney General Mark Herring who is running for re-election, and Del. Hala Ayala (D-District 51) who is running for lieutenant governor are the three candidates who did not attend the event.
Herring was the only Democrat candidate who even responded to the VBPA’s invitation.
The three Republican candidates, Glenn Youngkin, the gubernatorial nominee, Del. Jason Miyares (R-82nd District), the candidate for attorney general, and former Del. Winsome Sears, the candidate for lieutenant governor, all attended the event.
“Our members wished to hear from all of the candidates on qualified immunity, state law enforcement benefits, [the] Brady Giglio law, Second Amendment stances, procedural guarantee for officers and other issues that impact our members working lives, but sadly Terry McAuliffe, Hala Ayala and Mark Herring decided that this process was not a priority for them,” McGowan reportedly said.
Youngkin used the opportunity to blast McAuliffe.
“McAuliffe’s anti-police agenda will cause chaos in our communities by making it impossible to recruit new officers and causing mass retirements,” his spokesman Christian Martinez reportedly said. “The 43% increase in the murder rate and the increase in the rape rate every year when McAuliffe was governor was terrible, but that will pale in comparison to the explosion of crime that will occur if McAuliffe gets a third term.”
The VBPA is a nonpartisan organization.
It even endorsed Herring for Attorney General in 2013. That year, it also endorsed Republican Ken Cuccinelli over McAuliffe in the gubernatorial race.
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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Virginia Star and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Hala Ayala” by Hala Ayala. Background Photo “Virginia Capitol” by Martin Kraft. CC BY-SA 3.0.