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Virginia Republicans take aim at Boucher

Amy Gardner

The game is on in Virginia's 9th Congressional District. On Tuesday, Republican Morgan Griffith, the majority leader of the state House of Delegates, made his campaign official with the formation of a federal committee. And later this morning, the Republican Party of Virginia will unveil a new campaign targeting the Democratic incumbent, U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher.

Check out RetireRick.com later today to see more. The site is not live yet, but will be shortly, state GOP spokesman Garren Shipley said. The page will go after Boucher for his vote in support of cap-and-trade, but that's not all.

State GOP chairman Pat Mullins issued this statement about the campaign: "Democrat Rick Boucher left Abingdon for Washington, D.C., 27 years ago. He's been gone so long that he's forgotten what Southwest Virginia is all about. He's become more accustomed to working with those in Washington than working for those in the 9th District."

Griffith said he's still finalizing his decision and considers his committee an exploratory one, but he is busy shoring up support among elected officials and activists. On Tuesday he announced the support of two other state legislators who have been courted by national Republicans to challenge Boucher: state Del. Terry Kilgore of Gate City and state Sen. William Wampler of Bristol.

Speaking of Gate City and Bristol, Griffith is from Salem, and he doesn't actually live inside the 9th District, although his legislative district overlaps somewhat with the congressional district. Expect to hear more about this from Democrats going forward -- including the fact that Griffith criticized his Democratic opponent in his state House race last year for only recently moving into the district.

Boucher spokeswoman Courtney Lamie had no immediate comment on the state party's announcement or Griffith's new committee. But Boucher issued a statement this morning announcing the support of the National Rifle Association, from which Boucher has earned an A-plus rating.

By Amy Gardner  |  February 24, 2010; 10:26 AM ET
Categories:  2010 Virginia Congressional Races , Election 2010 , Rick Boucher  
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Comments

The NRA...no kidding. Well, we know who...butters their bread.

Posted by: EricS2 | February 24, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Okay on gun rights is a move by a Democrat who is a non-incumbent. A Republican would make guns an issue to keep an unknown Democrat below 40%. It's highly unlikely that the GOP plans to make guns the issue. When unseating an incumbent, the incumbent is the issue.

Posted by: blasmaic | February 24, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

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