Back in late November Mark Lloyd of the Lynchburg Tea Party spoke with State Senator Robert Hurt about the three planned tea party sponsored debates for the candidates running for the GOP congressional nomination. Well aware that the state legislature would be starting in mid January he wanted to make sure that the first debate to take place in Charlottesville would be scheduled at the Senator’s convenience. It was agreed that Friday evening January 22nd would work well for Hurt. Mark then contacted me and I was able to retain the use of Lane Auditorium for that night. All was set to go with the other candidates agreeing to participate in the debate.
Now with three weeks until the debate the Senator’s people now say that he will be unable to make this debate as well as the one two weeks later sponsored by the UVA’s Young Republicans. I cannot speak for the UVA group but we went out of our way to make sure that all could attend this January 22nd event and now Hurt will end up being a no show.
The only reason that I can see why the Senator has changed his mind is because of the heat he has been experiencing from the grassroots over his tax vote in 2004 along with his other questionable votes. I believe that Hurt has given up trying to win over the grassroots and because he was able to force a primary does not feel that he needs their support at this time. With five conservative candidates in the mix plus him he knows quite well that the grassroots vote could be split five ways with the moderates and crossover Democrat votes going to him. He most probably believes that this splitting of the vote will give him the small percentage he needs to win.
If Hurt does win the primary I hope the people who make up the grassroots will remember his snub. I am not saying that you should vote for Perriello over Hurt but maybe you may want to stay home instead of knocking on doors. Let Hurt have his people do the grassroots work, after all we are not worthy.