Dave Brat, the Tea Party challenger to Virginia GOP House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, won the primary last Tuesday night in what irrefutably was a major upset. Brat took aim at Cantor’s support of immigration legislation that would give amnesty to those that entered the United States illegally. There are mixed reports out there, but Cantor spent well more than $1 million dollars on his campaign (and had more in reserve), while Brat spent in the neighborhood of just more than $100,000. This is the first time since 1899 that a sitting majority leader had lost an election – and remember, this was the primary. Said Brat in a story posted on FoxNews.com: “If you go knocking door to door, you’ll know the American people think they’re in trouble. … It was a miracle.” Good to know there are some Republicans – and supporters – attempting to clean up the party. It’s also proof that a strong message means more than a brimming cache of cash.
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The annual Encore Gala Weekend for our region’s Center for the Performing Arts is coming up June 20-21, and it should be quite an event for attendees. We’re helping to sponsor the two-night extravaganza, and, well, we’re extremely excited about it. The first night has patrons at the Indiana Roof Ballroom for cocktails, a silent auction and the Great American Songbook Dinner Dance, at which CFTPA Artistic Director Michael Feinstein and Friends will perform. The next night at the Palladium, there will be the Hall of Fame induction of Johnny Mathis, Shirley Jones, Linda Ronstadt and Nat King Cole and exciting live musical performances by special guests. Natalie Cole will accept the award for her father. Performers include Peter Cincotti, American Idol finalist Jessica Sanchez, Broadway star Laura Osnes, Canadian vocalist Denzal Sinclair, and Songbook Youth Ambassador Julia Goodwin. Seats for June 21 still were available at press time. For more information, call 843-3800.