Democrats from Northern Virginia protested a campaign fundraiser for Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli Monday at CXIII Rex, a members-only cigar club located in the heart of Old Town Alexandria.
The event was co-hosted by Tony Makris, an NRA consultant who came under fire last month for shooting an African elephant on a safari hunt that was televised on NBC Sports.
The NRA-sponsored hunting show was canceled after Makris compared the hunt’s critics to Hitler, according to The Washington Post.
Old Town Alexandria resident Marianne Anderson held a sign outside the club’s King Street entrance that read “Cuccinelli: So last century.”
“I’m really worried about the future of the state,” Anderson said. “I’m worried about going back, particularly on social and women’s issues. And I feel like he and his cohorts are just another faction to create dissidence.”
Josh Horwitz, an Arlington resident and executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, held a poster of a vigil for the Virginia Tech shooting massacre that listed the number gun deaths in the commonwealth since that April 2007 day in Blacksburg.
“When Cuccinelli was a state senator, he voted against background checks five times,” he said.
Laura Sonnenmark from Mount Vernon echoed Horwitz’s concerns about the candidate’s opposition to increase background checks and took issue with Cuccinelli for sponsoring legislation in 2004 to repeal the prohibition on carrying a concealed handgun in a restaurant.
Some pedestrians stopped to have their photos taken with the protestors, while others took offense with some of the signs. Some of the signs read, “We don’t want a corrupt attorney general for our next governor!” and “Women’s rights & trust in science are good for Virginia Business.”
“These are the typical hackneyed complaints that the opponents have thrown out there throughout the campaign,” said Tom Fulton, chairman of the Alexandria Republican City Committee. “I think the record of governance itself tells a different story… [Cuccinelli] doesn’t fit the model the Democrats are trying to portray. From what I understand, he’s done good work on ethics reform and has a good jobs plan and his opponents have not put forth any sort of depth into examining his proposals.”
Cuccinelli was scheduled to attend the event, but the protestors did not see the candidate. Several protestors said Cuccinelli entered the club through a nearby alleyway. Alexandria police had parked several cruisers at the alley’s west entrance.