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Virginia Democrats Criticize Drake's Ties to Karl Rove

Tim Craig

Virginia Democrats are stepping up their criticism of U.S. Rep. Thelma D. Drake (R-Va.) over a fundraiser she has scheduled with former White House adviser Karl Rove.

Dels. Joseph F. Bouchard and Robert W. Mathiesen, both freshmen Democrats who represent Virginia Beach, will be holding a conference call with reporters this afternoon to criticize Drake. Rove will be at Ruth's Chris Steak House in Virginia Beach Friday to raise money for Drake, who is being challenged by Democrat Glenn Nye. Tickets start at $100, but a donor can get their picture taken with Rove if they contribute $1,000.

"We will be calling on Drake to cancel her fundraiser with Rove," said Jared Leopold, a spokesman for the Virginia Democratic Party, who noted Rove failed to appear at a congressional hearing week. "Instead of eating steak dinners with Rove, she should be telling him to follow the law."

But as Bouchard and Mathieson focus on Drake's race this year, Republicans in Richmond say they should instead be worried about their own reelection efforts in 2009.

GOP strategists say Bouchard and Mathiesen will be among their top targets in 2009 because they represent Republican-leaning districts and supported efforts in the General Assembly last week to raise taxes to pay for transportation.

By Tim Craig  |  July 14, 2008; 2:38 PM ET
Categories:  Tim Craig  
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