Home Virginia Republicans nominate NoVa elitist who called Staunton ‘podunk’ for Senate
State/National

Virginia Republicans nominate NoVa elitist who called Staunton ‘podunk’ for Senate

Chris Graham
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The guy who called the Staunton newspaper “podunk” and said it would be “ridonkulous” to have to travel to Abingdon for a candidate forum won the Republican Senate primary on Tuesday.

I can tell that you’re not surprised.

Hung Cao, whose previous political claim to fame was being the guy who came in a distant second to Democrat Jennifer Wexton in the down-the-middle 10th House District in 2022, is in the range of 65 percent of the vote in the five-candidate Senate primary as of 8:15 p.m. ET on Election Night.

Cao, a Vietnamese refugee and U.S. military veteran, came under political and media scrutiny when it came to light last month that money raised by his super PAC that he had said would go to state legislative candidates last year didn’t, which is how the “podunk” quote came about.

Taking the page out of the MAGA political playbook, Cao went after the messenger, for some reason picking on the News Leader, one of two Virginia newspapers in the Gannett/USA Today media group that published the report, as a “podunk local newspaper,” then doubling down on the comment in a virtual town-hall meeting in which he said the paper is run by “left-wing hacks.”

Editorial comment: I’m a left-wing hack. The folks writing at the News-Leader are overworked, underpaid, and about as apolitical as I’ve come across.

The “ridonkulous” soundbite came as Cao tried to explain his absence from a candidate forum in Abingdon in Southwest Virginia.

“For me to drive six and a half hours down to Abingdon or something like that and to stand there with four other dudes and to have 30 seconds to answer questions, it’s just ridonkulous, it’s just crazy,” Cao said.

All of this from a guy who lost a 50/50 congressional race two years ago by six and a half points.

Sounds like a winner to me.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham, the king of "fringe media," is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].

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