Cline and Hale face off in 6th District Republican primary

Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 10:51 PM EDT
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FINCASTLE, Va. (WDBJ) - Republicans in Virginia’s 6th Congressional District will head to the polls Tuesday to decide who will represent the party on the November ballot.

The fight for the GOP nomination pits incumbent Congressman Ben Cline against challenger Merritt Hale.

“I’m going to continue fighting for working families,” Cline said in an interview Friday morning, “and I hope that voters will send me back to keep that fight going.”

Cline has served in Congress since 2019. A resident of Botetourt County, he’s running for a third term.

“It’s to continue to listen to the voters to make sure it’s their priorities I’m taking to Washington, to make sure that we control inflation, advance an energy-independence agenda, control our borders, lower crime and get rid of a lot of the drug traffic in our communities,” Cline said. “so there are a lot of things that we need to do.”

Hale sat down with Bob Grebe at our sister station in Harrisonburg, WHSV.

“Do you have background in any politics whatsoever?” Grebe asked in an interview this week. “No, and I think that’s part of what a lot of people find appealing about me,” Hale said. “I’m young. I don’t have a donor base. I’m not beholden to anybody. I’m strictly grass roots and I think that’s appealing. And we need outsiders to go in there and fix the problems.”

From the northern end of the district, Hale is a Navy veteran who works as a systems engineer supporting the intelligence community.

“I’m doing this because I truly believe we need a change of leadership,” Hale said. “We need proactive politicians, and we need servant leaders, not career politicians who are going to stand behind the establishment.”

The winner of Tuesday’s primary will take on Democratic challenger Jennifer Lewis in November.

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