- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, is heading to Virginia next week to help boost Republicans Ed Gillespie and Dave Brat, who are running this year for seats in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House, respectively.

The public rally is scheduled to take place Oct. 15 at 1 p.m. at the Hanover Arts and Activities Center in Ashland, about 20 miles north of Richmond.

Mr. Paul, a likely 2016 presidential contender, has been busy making stops on behalf of candidates in early presidential primary and battleground states, and has trips scheduled for New Hampshire, Ohio, Iowa and other states the rest of the month.

President Obama carried Virginia twice, but was the first Democratic presidential candidate to do so since Lyndon Johnson in 1964 and the solidly purple state is poised to remain competitive for both sides. While there are libertarian candidates in these races in Virginia, neither has been able to gain much traction.

Mr. Gillespie is challenging incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Warner this year and has trailed by about 10 points in recent polls, though that gap is closer than what numbers had been showing over the summer. Libertarian Robert Sarvis has been polling in the single digits.

Mr. Brat, who toppled former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a June primary, is well-positioned to replace Mr. Cantor as the representative for the state’s 7th congressional district. He’s running against Democrat Jack Trammell and Libertarian James Carr.

The contours of the 7th district, which stretches from the Richmond suburbs north to the Shenandoah Valley, could have to change soon, however. A federal panel said Tuesday the state legislature must redraw its congressional district lines by April, ruling that race predominated lawmakers’ thinking when they drew a map packing African-American voters into the southeastern 3rd congressional district, which meanders from Richmond to Hampton Roads.

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