AP Political Writer
RICHMOND, Va. - Virginia Democrats are framing the new statewide ticket the Republican Right nominated Saturday as a referendum on the GOP's surprise lieutenant governor nominee, firebrand Chesapeake minister E.W. Jackson, and his statements demeaning gays and equating Planned Parenthood with the Ku Klux Klan.
While gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli and GOP ticket-mates Jackson and attorney general choice Mark Obenshain winged across Virginia in an introductory barnstorming tour Monday, Democrats offered denunciations of the ticket by two dissident Republican moderates.
Former House Appropriations Committee Chairman Vince Callahan said the more than 8,000 conservative activists who nominated the ticket at Saturday's statewide GOP convention turned a Republican "big-tent party" he helped build into a "pup tent party."
Former GOP Del. Katherine Waddell says the ticket makes Virginia "a playground for a divisive social agenda."
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