Primary voters in Virginia were out in force on Super Tuesday, March 1. Virginia was one of 13 states that held presidential primaries that day, playing a big role in the results, especially for the Republican Party where turnout was higher than normal.
On Sunday, Feb. 28, presidential candidate hopeful Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) energized his supporters in a 45-minute speech at Patrick Henry College (PHC) in Purcellville before a packed gymnasium of three-thousand from the community and surrounding area. Purcellville was one of Rubio's four-stop Virginia blitz ahead of Super Tuesday, which included other appearances in Midlothian, Virginia Beach and Salem. And it paid off for Rubio in Loudoun County, with 20,845 primary votes (40.35%); however, he did not win the Republican primary vote for the state; Donald Trump took first with 355,944 votes (34.81%) to Rubio's 326,904 (31.97%).
The Florida senator was welcomed Sunday afternoon by PHC president Jack Haye, followed by PHC Chancellor Mike Farris, who led the prayer, and former U.S. Senator and Virginia governor George Allen. John Whitbeck, Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia. Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA-10) formally introduced Sen. Rubio. Comstock is credited by many in the party for delivering the 10th District to Rubio through her endorsement and her appearance with him at PHC.
Also attending were local elected leaders including Blue Ridge District Supervisor Tony R. Buffington and Blue Ridge District School Board member Jill Turgeon, Purcellville Mayor Kwasi Fraser, and Town Council member Joan Lehr, among others.
Attending the rally with his son Darius, Purcellville Mayor Kwasi Fraser said, “We thank Senator Rubio for choosing Purcellville, the economic hub and engine of Western Loudoun, as the platform from which to inform the citizens of Loudoun County and Northern Virginia where he stands on key issues."
Mike Kaber, Jr. brought his grandmother, Grace Gonzales, from West Virginia about 20 minutes away to the Rubio Rally. Kaber said, “She is Cuban American and wanted to come to see Senator Rubio.” West Virginia’s presidential primary will be held March 15.
Susan Davis of Purcellville said she came to see Marco Rubio because, “He is here in our town. It is a critical election; we are down to the wire. I came to hear more of what he has to say. Hillary and Trump seem to be in the lead right now. I wanted to see for myself if the nation is waking up. I am not sure where our country is going.” As far as Super Tuesday and its importance, she said, “It is important for every American to vote to have him (Rubio) on the ballot.”
Diana and Raja Panchal of Waterford said they came to the rally to “hear what Rubio has to say, his thoughts on our country and what he is going to do to make it better.” Raja said of Super Tuesday, “This will shape the general election and the political nominees for each party.” He said that he is concerned that so many are drawn to Trump, whose behavior and words are “disconcerting and not that of a potential leader. We are on the world stage; it is not positive and is more fitting of a reality show, not from someone who could lead the most powerful country in the world.”
Waterford resident Heidi Mitter was happy to attend the rally, as it gave her a better understanding of who the candidate is as a person. "Unlike the debates we have seen on television, a rally really gives a better perspective of the candidate," said Mitter.
Cpl. Paul Kakol of the Purcellville Police Department worked inside the rally and assisted in escorting Sen. Rubio around the large crowds, and when the event was over he escorted the Rubio's campaign entourage of vehicles out of Purcellville.
He said, "I was pleased that we had a successful rally and was impressed he came to Purcellville. It was fun to see a piece of the presidential process take place here in our small town. Patrick Henry College was a great venue and the staff were exceptional hosts. Fortunately, we had support from the Loudoun County Fire Marshal's Office and the Sheriff's Office, as well as the Loudoun County Volunteer Fire Department and several staff members at PHC. He noted that traffic became a challenge that afternoon as the attendance was far greater than expected. "With quick coordination of the departments we were able to move traffic along, however quite slowly," said Kakol.
And if all of that excitement was not enough for our western Loudoun towns, a Ben Carson for President Motor coach was spotted in Hamilton on the morning of Super Tuesday. Sue Phillips, owner of the health food store in Hamilton, walked outside her storefront on Colonial Highway to see Presidential Candidate Ben Carson's tour bus parked out front. Carson's bus driver is a regular shopper at the Merc and was just picking up his typical order, according to Phillips, "The driver mentioned to Phillips that he would be picking Carson up in Baltimore later that day. â€œIt was very exciting to have his bus here; we had several cameras capturing the moment" said Phillips.
Election Results in Western Loudoun
A total of 1,807,808 votes were cast in Virginia, leaving Republican Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump winning the Republican primary vote in Virginia with 355,913 votes (34.81%) and Democratic Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton winning Virginia with 503,351 votes (64.30%).
In Loudoun County, 87,866 primary votes were cast, of which 51,733 votes were on the Republican ticket. Rubio had the most votes with 20,845 (40.35%) while Trump finished second with 14,420 votes (27.91%) and Ted Cruz coming in a distant third with 7,696 (14.90%) votes. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton received 21,171 votes to the 14,719 Sanders received.
In the Blue Ridge District, a total of 14,528 primary votes were cast of which 9,235 votes were for those on the Republican ticket. Republican front-runner presidential candidate Donald Trump received 2,598 votes while Marco Rubio received 3,801. Coming in third place, Ted Cruz received 1,424 votes with the rest of the votes going to John Kasich with 922 votes and 414 with Ben Carson. Hillary Clinton received 3,094 votes, winning over Sanders's 2,168.
In the Catoctin District, a total of 11,902 votes were cast. Republican front-runner presidential candidate Donald Trump received 2,372 votes in the district while Marco Rubio received 2,853. Coming in third place, Ted Cruz received 1,416 votes. Democrat Hillary Clinton received a total of 2,280 votes while Sanders received 1,653 votes.
In the Leesburg District, a total of 9,323 votes were cast. Republican front-runner presidential candidate Donald Trump received 1,386 votes in the district while Marco Rubio received 2,165 votes. Coming in third place, Ted Cruz received 822 votes. Democrat Hillary Clinton received a total of 2,186 votes while Sanders received 1,783 votes.