McCain joins Raese at campaign rally
CHARLES TOWN – Hundreds of spectators made their way to Charles Town’s American Legion post for Rally for Raese Tuesday afternoon.
The event, a campaign stop for U.S. Senate candidate John Raese that featured Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., was sponsored by the Jefferson County Republican Executive Committee and held at the American Legion.
Raese, a Republican, is running against Democrat Gov. Joe Manchin in a special election to fill the remaining term of the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va. Jesse Johnson and Jeff Becker also are candidates for Byrd’s former seat, representing the Mountain and Constitution parties, respectively.
Many of those in the crowd saw the rally as a way to show that there is support in the Eastern Panhandle for Raese’s candidacy.
“I’m glad to see there was a big turnout here for the Republicans,” said Inwood resident David Barton. “Especially in a more Democratic county, Jefferson County, it’s a great turnout.”
“We came to just kind of show support. We’ve been at some of his (Raese’s) rallies but we just wanted to show numbers, to show that there’s excitement for his campaign in the Eastern Panhandle,” said Inwood resident Mark Peters.
Others in the crowd were interested in what Raese and McCain had to say.
“I want some comfort words. I want reassurance that this country can be turned around and will be turned around,” said Gerrardstown resident Dee Armstrong. “And I want to stop swearing at my television set and listen to something worthwhile for a change.”
Following the rally, those in attendance seemed to be pleased with what they had heard Raese and McCain talk about.
“I like it all,” said Linda Watts in reference to Raese’s campaign. “He’s against all this spending like he said, and he’s for the military and just everything I believe in. I liked everything he said.”
Watts’ son, Dana Watts, also attended the rally and said he liked where Raese stands on issues like cap and trade.
“Cap and trade is so important to this state – that would bankrupt the coal industry and we can’t have that,” he said. “The deficit and the debt are outrageous, there’s no end in sight. They want to spend more. There are just so many things Raese stands for in opposition to Joe Manchin.”
JCREC chair Anne Dungan said she hopes rallies like the one in Charles Town help get Raese the support he needs to win.
“It’s so important, this election is so important, and I wanted to do everything I could to help Raese get over the top,” she said. “I think it was wonderful. I was so pleased that we had so many people turn out. There are a lot of enthusiastic people in Jefferson County, there are more perhaps than I thought there might be and it was wonderful that so many people came out today.”