The first primary Senate debate for Virginia's Republican candidates is now on the record. All four Republican candidates espoused their views and credentials to earn the Republican nomination for United States Senate. All four candidates participated, including: former Governor George Allen, E.W. Jackson, Delegate Bob Marshall and Jamie Radtke.
For a quick summary of the debate, I would choose E.W. Jackson as the winner of the debate. Surprised? If you have heard E.W. speak, you would be impressed. His ministerial background and persona connected and captured the attention of the audience. He was not over the top with his delivery. Just on the mark and confident with a shot of energy. He offered solid conservative solutions to the questions posed to him. He did not have any gaffes or hesitations. E.W. commanded the attention and new found respect of many conservatives who attended.
Our runner-up for the debate is Delegate Bob Marshall. He broke the ice time and again with one liners. Which helped him warm up to the audience. He quickly changed gears with a serious tone offering solid answers that were in line with conservative solutions for protecting our rights through the Constitution.
Former Governor George Allen had a balanced performance. He produced good sound answers to a variety of different questions. His themes he touched on were the economy, protecting citizens rights, unleashing energy resources and supporting the second amendment. Allen warmed to the crowd in a gentle manner. But not to the latitude of E.W. Jackson. The former Governor did not have any slip ups or snarls.
I'll have to say Jamie Radtke under performed. She is considered the main contender behind front runner George Allen. She needed to land some blows to Allen during the debate. She let loose a couple of rhetorical swings towards him, but they were ineffective. Her demeanor came off cold and never really warmed up to the audience or panelists. Of the four candidates, she had the most controversial statement. Radtke stated, "The best defense against the federal government is the second amendment." Her statement was not entirely well received or timely following a unrelated, provoking remark last week by rocker Ted Nugent which caused a flap with the Secret Service.
The debate concluded with a swarm of media and thoughts of the next debate. Following the debate, the media swarmed around front runner George Allen and his wife, Susan The next debate will be held in Hampton on May 11.