Senator Ralph Smith Angry at the Press
Republican Senator Ralph Smith was victorious in a contentious race with Independent candidate and former Senator Brandon Bell. Smith won with over 56% of the vote. Congressman Bob Goodlatte introduced the victorious Sen. Smith.
Smith immediately raked The Roanoke Times Editorial Board over the coals. Smith asked, “is there anyone here from The Roanoke Times?” Only the photographer who boldly raised his hand was present. Smith said for him to “put the tar and feathers away.”
“This [race] wasn’t close and shouldn’t have been close,” he said. He blamed the news media for wanting to make it close. “There was such cause perpetrated on this campaign and my reputation that we looked to the media and you did not report … when we made a claim why didn’t [the media] go check it out?”
“The Roanoke Times going through my trash can on my lawn … it is illegal for one thing … you [The Roanoke Times] wrote a story about it and I am upset about it.” When asked later if he planned to take legal action he hedged saying, “lets not go there at this time.”
Rep. Bob Goodlatte and Roanoke City Chair Chris Walters share iPads
Later he said he would carry on in the Senate as his past record demonstrates. “If I have more allies we will achieve more things,” he said. Many people campaigned on jobs but “we don’t need anymore government jobs … we need private enterprise jobs,” said Smith.
Smith said by getting the government out of the way instead of competing with private enterprise “we will go forward.” Smith said he’d help Governor Bob McDonnell achieve those goals.
Smith again attacked the media for “not doing their job in checking his opponent [Brandon Bell’s] claims and sorting out the truth.” He thinks the voters saw through all the attack ads – “they know me now and they don’t buy that.”
“The first thing I hope for is that someone will thoroughly investigate everything about me.” Not mentioning his opponent by name he said, “when someone spends thousands of dollars calling me a cheat and a liar – now I don’t know about the legalities of it but I think it should have been exposed – lets get the evidence out there.”
Steve Mabry, Sen. Smith’s campaign manager said, “the ads were the most venomous ads I’ve ever seen – it was a personal vendetta against Sen. Smith,” he said.
Brandon Bell in a phone call said his whole premise was to “ask leaning Republicans to change their behavior and vote for an Independent – that’s a bit of a chore to do.” He said he worked one precinct in Franklin County and said that they didn’t have a clue who either one of the candidates were.
Posted By Valerie Garner
Categories: Election 2011, Elections, Politics, State Politics
Tags: Election 2011, Elections, republican, state_senate