Outgoing Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, Gubernatorial hopeful Ken Cuccinelli and Attorney General candidates Mark Obenshain and Mark Herring highlighted the state’s political powers in attendance Saturday at the annual Poor Man’s Dinner in Galax.
Held annually during the Old Fiddlers’ Convention, the Poor Man’s Dinner generally attracts politicians from all over the Commonwealth. On Saturday, McDonnell returned to the Twin Counties and gushed about what great events Galax hosts in the Fiddlers’ Convention and Poor Man’s Dinner.
“What a treat to be back in Galax. This is a marvelous piece of the Virginia story and Americana to have the best fiddling music anywhere in America right here in Virginia and Galax,” McDonnell said, recalling visits to the Poor Man’s Dinner as a young delegate, including the time he lost his wife’s watch in the New River. “But this is a great family event, especially for the legislators that have brought their families. Thanks to you because your legislators work so hard in Richmond and you have to keep the home fires burning and do so much to make sure our General Assembly works right. I am really grateful because we have gotten a lot of things done in transportation and education and budget reform and so many other things because of the marvelous work of the legislators. It takes a really supportive family to serve in the oldest continuously legislating body, and I think the best in the free world, the Virginia General Assembly.”
The Governor said it was always great to visit with leaders from Grayson and Carroll counties. He said it was a treat to see 9th District Congressman Morgan Griffin, and it will be an even bigger treat when he returns to the area very soon.
“I will be excited to be back here in just a couple of months when we open the Grayson County Prison,” McDonnell said. “That will be great jobs all over this region and I want to thank your Senator Bill Carrico and the others that helped to make that happen.”
McDonnell said it was also great to see friends, and fellow Republicans, like Mark Obershain and Ken Cuccinelli that are running for office.
“I think they are going to do a great job when they win. Those are my only partisan comments for the time,” McDonnell said. “Let me conclude by saying it has been an incredible blessing to serve as your Governor these last three-and-a-half years. There’s been immense bipartisan support from the General Assembly to turn down the temperature, work together to get things done, solve problems and show that Virginia is a can-do, positive, get-it-done state.”
Outgoing Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli sported a HoustonFest hat during the Poor Man’s Dinner in support of the local event held annually in honor of the late Houston Caldwell. Cuccinelli said he was no stranger to the area and promised to return to many times, much as he did when elected as Attorney General. Cuccinelli’s Democratic challenger Terry McAuliffe was scheduled to attend the Poor Man’s Dinner, but did not make an appearance.