Vice President Joe Biden and Democrat Terry McAuliffe at the Jefferson-Jackson dinner.
It was the biggest night of the year for Virginia Democrats.
Saturday night's annual Jefferson-Jackson dinner in Richmond drew more than a thousand party loyalists, politicians, and Vice President Joe Biden.
They're counting cash to help candidates win in Decision 2013.
The event is expected to bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars for Virginia Democrats.
It's money that Democrats will rely on heading into November's elections, but the party is hoping a little star power will also help rally the party base.
Vice President Joe Biden made his case for the commonwealth.
"Ladies and gentlemen, McAuliffe knows the Virginia way. Cuccinelli knows the Tea Party way. That's the fundamental difference in this race, at least from the outside looking in," Biden said.
The races for governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general took center stage at the fundraiser dinner, as Democrats rallied behind their nominee for governor, Terry McAuliffe.
"If we stay at home, we will lose," said Virginia Congressman Bobby Scott.
"Now, we've got a choice," Senator Mark Warner said.
Democrats need a big turnout in November to win in an off-year election.
"We need you door knocking, sign posting, phone calling, Facebook sharing, and house party hosting from now until election day. We need your help," McAuliffe said.
They're hoping grassroots support, and star support from big names Biden will help get people to the polls.
"This is about as stark a choice as you can imagine. A choice between the Virginia way and the Tea Party way. A choice between progress and rejection," Biden said.
Senator Tim Kaine says Biden's presence at Saturday's event shows how important Virginia is, and will continue to be, heading into the next presidential election.
Having the vice president here tonight for our ticket is really helpful in that way. It shows that they recognize that Virginia is going to be major in 2016," he said.
But this year, Virginia's focus is on its own races.
Races Biden says could ultimately come to define both parties.
"Send a message to Republicans across America, that there's no reason to be afraid of these extreme guys," Biden said.
Republican criticized Biden and McAuliffe for their positions against coal-powered energy, a hot-topic in southwestern Virginia coal country.
Republicans also said of the dinner - "Every dollar raised at the event will be a dollar used to destroy Virginia's coal industry."
Cuccinelli Campaign Responds to Biden/McAuliffe Remarks
"With no economic plan or message to tout, Vice President Biden and Terry McAuliffe doubled down on an empty strategy of division and false attacks tonight. The fact is, the Obama/Biden/McAuliffe War On Coal and government-run healthcare is harmful to job growth and economic opportunity in Virginia. The Commonwealth has a clear choice: Ken Cuccinelli's plan to keep taxes low, stand up for the middle class and move Virginia forward or Terry McAuliffe's embrace of the failed policies that have created significant burdens and uncertainty for families, job creators and workers."
Ed joined the NBC29 news team in May, 2011. A Charlotte, NC, native, he graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with degrees in journalism and political science.Full Story
Ed joined the NBC29 news team in May, 2011. A Charlotte, NC, native, he graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with degrees in journalism and political science. Email/Follow on Twitter/ Full Story
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