Cuccinelli Va. Primary Model; Conservative Seat Seekers Emulate Outgoing State Senator

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), November 20, 2009 | Go to article overview

Cuccinelli Va. Primary Model; Conservative Seat Seekers Emulate Outgoing State Senator


Byline: Sarah Abruzzese, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Three staunchly conservative Republican candidates are vying to replace Virginia Attorney General-elect Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II in a Northern Virginia state Senate district that had trended Democratic in recent years but came out solidly for Republicans this month.

Fairfax County's 37th District supported President George W. Bush in 2004 but went Democratic for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general in 2005 and supported Democratic candidates for U.S. Senate in 2006 and 2008. President Obama won the district last year.

Mr. Cuccinelli, who won his seat by more than 2,000 votes in 2003, saw his margin of victory plummet to just over 100 votes in 2007, when he became the last remaining Republican state senator in Northern Virginia. But, according to unofficial election results from the Virginia Public Access Project, he handily took the district this year as part of a sweep that saw Republicans elected to the state's top three posts.

Now the three candidates vying in a Dec. 1 primary to replace him are utilizing the same themes the conservative firebrand sounded during his campaigns.

Marianne Horinko, 48, who served as the acting administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under Mr. Bush, is running as a staunch pro-life conservative. The attorney and analytical chemist owns a small energy and environmental consulting business, which she said will help her propel common-sense legislation to help create private sector jobs.

If you stick to your core values, honor, integrity and hard work, I think that appeals to voters of the 37th, Mrs. Horinko said.

Steve Hunt, 51, said he is running because he believes in service to his community and hasn't been happy with some of the widespread changes in the country.

A former at-large school board member and retired naval officer who currently works as an analyst for SAIC on a Department of Defense contract, Mr. Hunt said that if he wins he will continue on the leadership Ken Cuccinelli has provided in Richmond. …

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