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From the Archives: Virginia Senate candidates remember Ronald Reagan on his 100th birthday

Virginia Senate candidates remember Ronald Reagan on his 100th birthday
February 6, 2011 9:45 AM MST

The 2012 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Virginia is still a year away, but potential nominees from both the Democratic and Republican parties are taking advantage of the 100th anniversary of the birth of President Ronald Reagan to associate themselves with the conservative icon.

Jim Webb

Ronald Reagan Hollywood star Virginia senate candidates
Incumbent Senator Jim Webb, a Democrat who has not yet announced whether he will seek re-election, served as Secretary of the Navy under Reagan. According to the Washington Post, he sent a letter to Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, encouraging the state’s chief executive to honor the Reagan centennial.

"More than twenty years ago, President Reagan inspired this nation after a period of extraordinary turmoil and self-doubt," Rosalind Helderman quotes Webb as saying. "I believe it is entirely fitting that we reexamine his legacy today as our nation faces serious challenges at home and abroad."

On Friday, McDonnell issued a proclamation designating February 6 as “Ronald Reagan Day” in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

George Allen
Webb’s 2006 opponent, former Governor and Senator George Allen, who recently announced his intention to take back his old seat, sent an email to supporters with his own reminiscences of Reagan.

Allen notes that he first met Reagan when the latter was governor of California and that he had served as chairman of Young Virginians for Reagan during the nomination campaign of 1976.

Allen goes on to say that Reagan “knew that to unleash America's potential, people must be unburdened by government interference, unrestricted by onerous taxes and obstacles to innovation and creativity, and unobstructed by incentive-sapping laws and regulation. By using Ronald Reagan's faith in foundational principles we can confront the challenges we face in our nation, state and local communities and again unleash the unique potential of the American Dream.”

Jamie Radtke
Allen’s only announced rival for the 2012 GOP Senate nomination, former Tea Party leader Jamie Radtke, also released a statement on the occasion of Reagan’s 100th birthday.

“Just as President Reagan kept alive the ideals of the Founders,” Radtke says, “the modern-day Tea Party movement has revived the ideals of Ronald Wilson Reagan, even as the political party he led wandered from those principles, with disastrous results.”

Taking credit for a return to Reagan’s values, Radtke goes on to say that “the Tea Party movement, of which I have been a proud member, has driven a resurgence of the Republican Party in Washington centered around Ronald Reagan's principles of smaller, Constitutionally limited government, fiscal responsibility, lower taxes, free markets and virtue and accountability.”

There have been reports that other candidates who may enter the 2012 Senate race in Virginia include Delegate Bob Marshall (R-Manassas) and Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors.

Publisher's note: This article was originally published on Examiner.com on February 6, 2011. The Examiner.com publishing platform was discontinued July 1, 2016, and its web site went dark on or about July 10, 2016.  I am republishing this piece in an effort to preserve it and all my other contributions to Examiner.com since April 6, 2010. It is reposted here without most of the internal links that were in the original.

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