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POLITICS: PennAve

Special session in Richmond could be a challenge for Virginia's Barbara Comstock

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Politics,Virginia,Betsy Woodruff,2014 Elections,Campaigns,PennAve,Barbara Comstock,Frank Wolf

Barbara Comstock might face an interesting hiccup as she heads into the home stretch of her race for an open House seat in Northern Virginia.

Comstock, a Republican member of the Virginia House of Delegates running to fill the congressional seat vacated by retiring Rep. Frank Wolf, will have to trek down to Richmond in September for a special legislative session that will debate the potential Medicaid expansion. It’s a situation that has some Republicans worried.

James Parmelee, the chairman of the Northern Virginia Republican PAC, said her absence from the trail in the weeks before the general election could be a downside for her campaign.

“It shouldn’t be that long,” he added, “and I think people will understand that she’s there representing them. And hopefully she’ll be able to get the word out, that this is why you want her, because of her experience.”

One Republican Virginia operative said the optics of the special session could be fraught for the candidate.

“In the midst of the most important part of an extremely competitive congressional race, she’ll have to spend a significant amount of time in Richmond, when she should be knocking on doors, talking to voters, talking about her position on a number of issues,” he said.

“I’m sure that Democrats are excited about the prospect of discussing it again,” he added.

Comstock told the Washington Examiner that she doesn’t expect the special session to be a hindrance for her campaign.

“I think one of the most fraudulent things the Democrats are doing is saying that Medicaid expansion will provide people with a doctor,” she said, “when in fact, Medicaid expansion will not give them a doctor when so many doctors refuse to participate in Medicaid.”

Comstock pointed out that the ob-gyn practice of her Democratic opponent, Fairfax County supervisor John Foust, doesn’t take Medicaid. So the Medicaid focus could be a potential liability for either candidate.

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Betsy Woodruff

Political Writer
The Washington Examiner

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