November 4, 2014 at 12:55 am EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Mark Warner supporters attend pre-Election Day rally

Virginia, Mark Warner

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) speaks during a rally at Alexandria’s Market Square on Nov. 3, 2014. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) remained optimistic going into Election Day as he spoke to hundreds of supporters at a Monday rally at Alexandria’s Market Square.

“I’ve got a great feeling about tomorrow,” said Warner. “Tomorrow night we’ll have a great victory for Virginia.”

Former U.S. Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) introduced Mark Warner to the crowd.

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Virginia Congressman Gerry Connolly, outgoing U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) and former Virginia Lieutenant Gov. Don Beyer who will likely succeed him are among those who joined Mark Warner on the stage. Gay state Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) and state Del. Charniele Herring (D-Alexandria) also attended the rally.

Mark Warner on Tuesday will face off against former Republican National Committee Chair Ed Gillespie and Independent Robert Sarvis, who ran for governor last year.

A Christopher Newport University poll released on Oct. 31 found Mark Warner ahead of Gillespie by a 51-44 percent margin. Two percent of respondents said they support Sarvis.

Warner told the Washington Blade last month after he spoke at the first Northern Virginia Pride Festival that he feels marriage rights for same-sex couples is “the right thing to do” for Virginia’s economy.

“Companies want to be in locations where there’s not discriminatory practices,” he said. “We need to make sure that Virginia is not at the back of the pack, but at the front of the pack.”

Warner’s comments came a day before gays and lesbians began to exchange vows in the commonwealth after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a lawsuit that had challenged the state’s same-sex marriage ban.

Beyer: Same-sex marriage has ‘swept the country’

Moran told the crowd that he supports Beyer. He noted he will vote for him because he shares “our values” and “understands we want as an inclusive society as possible.”

“Marriage equality has swept the country, even Virginia and Utah,” said Beyer.

Beyer in June easily defeated Ebbin, gay talk show host Mark Levine, state Del. Patrick Hope (D-Arlington) and Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille in the Democratic primary for Virginia’s 8th Congressional District.

The former lieutenant governor at the end of his remarks noted “adoption discrimination against our LGBT brothers and sisters” and a lack of comprehensive immigration reform are among the “huge challenges before us.”

“That’s why we need Mark Warner in the U.S. Senate,” said Beyer.

Don Beyer, gay news, Washington Blade

Former Virginia Lt. Gov. and U.S. House of Representatives candidate Don Beyer spoke to supporters at a rally in Old Town Alexandria on Nov. 3, 2014. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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