Sen. Ralph Smith called me this afternoon about Sunday night’s blog post about him and Ken Cuccinelli at Roanoke’s First Baptist Church. Ralph said he did indeed take the Republican gubernatorial nominees to services there Sunday.
Smith said he did not introduce Cuccinelli; that the church pastor did.
Smith says he sat in the front row and didn’t see anyone walk out — but conceded it could have happened but he didn’t see it because his back was turned.
He said Cuccinelli was politely received by even people he knows as Democrats who were in the congregation.
“Courteous applause — that’s what I saw,” Smith said. “I didn’t see any exodus whatsoever.” Most of the congregation was unaware Cuccinelli would be appearing at the service, he said.
He also said it appeared to him from Terry Huxhold’s Facebook Page that Huxhold “is a Democratic activist.”
Smith also said: “If Terry McAuliffe comes next Sunday, people will be gracious and courteous and he’ll be well received.”
I asked Smith if Cuccinelli, who is Roman Catholic, had returned the favor, and taken Smith over to St. Andrews Catholic Church.
Smith said it was his “understanding” that Cuccinelli went to early mass at Our Lady of Nazareth in Roanoke County, then went to Rainbow Forest Baptist Church before arriving at First Baptist.