Republicans gathered in Richmond over the weekend to select a slate of candidates for state office. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is at the top of the ticket, after winning the nomination for governor. In his acceptance speech, he cast his opponent, Democrat Terry McAuliffe, as a Washington insider.
"For Virginians who think that Washington works well, they have a candidate in this race," said Cuccinelli. "And for the rest of the Virginians who don't think that Washington works so well, you have a candidate in this race, too."
The biggest surprise of the convention was the lieutenant governor's race, which lingered on for hours as delegates cast for four separate ballots. In the end, conservative black preacher E.W. Jackson emerged as the winner.
"We stand up for the second amendment because there is no liberty when madmen can go into our schools and slaughter our children, and we don't have the ability to stop them," Jackson said.
State Sen. Mark Obenshain took the nomination for attorney general.
"Are you ready to fight and defeat the EPA and its war on coal? Are you ready to fight to stop Obamacare in its tracks? " he asked the crowd.
Some Republicans said Northern Virginia will play a key role in determining who wins the race.
"The fact that five out of the seven lieutenant governor candidates are from Northern Virginia tells you exactly how much influence the region has within the party," said Steve Thomas, from Spotsylvania. "It's huge."
Others view the region with suspicion.
"When you get bigger populations, you get more people wanting more stuff," said Craig Gilpin from Culpepper. "And that's just the way it is."
Democrats will select their candidates in a statewide primary in June.