Ken Cuccinelli, the Virginia gubernatorial candidate who once compared immigrants to rats and called Steve King “one of my very favorite Congressmen,” conceded defeat to Democrat Terry McAuliffe last night, and immigration reform advocates from Casa in Action were there to remind the Republican Party why Cuccinelli had lost.
According to the Washington Post liveblog:
Moments after NBC and several networks called the race for Terry McAuliffe, a young immigrant activist walked up on the stage in the Marriott Ballroom and declared that Ken Cuccinelli had lost because he and fellow Republicans failed to work toward immigration reform.
The advocate, Gustavo Andrade, the director of Maryland-based Casa in Action, began leading chants with other immigration reform supporters–“What do we want?” “Immigration reform!”–before being escorted out.
As election eve polling released yesterday and a webinar today show, immigration reform was a key issue for the Latino and Asian voters who helped decide the Virginia gubernatorial race, and Cuccinelli’s history of hardliner positions on the issue made voters much less enthusiastic about supporting him. As the national GOP struggles to figure out whether it will pass immigration reform this year, commentators are pointing to Cuccinelli’s failure as a lesson for the Republican Party.
As Renato Mendoza, another activist in the group, told the Post, “We wanted to let the GOP know that if they don’t accept citizenship, or a way to citizenship, for 11 million people, then as a party, they’re dead.”
Watch video of the Casa in Action protest below: