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Democrats select Cantor opponent

Wayne Powell

By Chelyen Davis

Democrats in the 7th Congressional District have nominated Richmond-area attorney Wayne Powell as their candidate to run against Rep. Eric Cantor in the November election.

District Democrats were set to hold caucuses to choose between Powell and Lake of the Woods resident David Hunsicker.

But this week Hunsicker said he would step aside, after filings showed Powell had 80 percent of the caucus votes.

In a release from the district chairman announcing his nomination, Powell—a retired Army colonel who now runs his own law firm in Midlothian—said he, unlike Cantor, isn’t a politician.

He said he “believes something is drastically wrong with Congress and our country’s political system, a system where multinational corporations and the wealthiest control too many of our elected representatives. Mr. Cantor, moreover, is the epitome of what is wrong in Washington. He is a career political operator who is the poster child for Washington dysfunction.”

, a congressman whose overwhelming goal appears to be accumulating political power for himself to advancethe interests of political cronies and the wealthiest special interests, both in Washington and here at home in the seventh district. His service is not focused on the needs of his constituents.”

In the statement, Powell spoke specifically of only one issue—his belief that “women should be free to make their own health care decisions and have access to basic medical needs such as contraception without government interference.”

On his website, Powell says he supports ending the “Bush” tax cuts for the wealthiest taxpayers. He favors allowing gays and lesbians to marry, and he agrees with the decision to end the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. He backs the DREAM Act, which would give citizenship to students who were brought to the U.S. as children. He says corporate money has corrupted the political system and he would favor barring former congressmen from doing lobbying work.

He said he hopes to have joint appearances with Cantor.

Cantor, the House majority leader, has a large cash advantage; as of the last campaign finance reports filed earlier this month, he had about $2.2 million cash on hand. He’s been using some of that to run TV ads in the district already.

Chelyen Davis: 804/343-2245