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A special election for Virginia state Senate in 2018 will be contested by a conservative and liberal faction who have different political viewpoints.
One of the more liberal factions, the Alliance for Virginia Values, is led by state Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Shelby.
He has opposed same-sex marriage, and he and other members of his party are opposed to a federal law that bans discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
The other faction, the Republican Liberty Caucus, is headed by state Rep. Kevin Sweeny, R.N. The Liberty Caucus is led, in part, by Republican State Sen. Scott Greenfield, who is the son of a former Virginia governor.
Greenfield is one of the leaders of the Alliance For Virginia Values.
He was a member of the Republican Party of Virginia until his election to the Virginia House in 2017.
(He later switched to the Libertarian Party.)
Sweenys political positions are more aligned with the GOP.
He is an outspoken supporter of the state’s controversial voter ID law, which is opposed by Democrats.
He supports the Common Core curriculum in public schools and opposes federal immigration reform.
He opposes the Affordable Care Act and has expressed support for a constitutional amendment banning same-gender marriage.
In 2016, he lost the Democratic primary to a tea party challenger.
Greenfields son, former U.S. Sen. David R. Sensenbrenner, is running for state attorney general.
Sensensbrenners son, who also was a state senator in Virginia, was the Democratic nominee for attorney general in 2016.
Both sons are married to state representatives and are Democrats.
The Alliance for Virginias Values is led not by a lawmaker but by the state attorney for the state of Virginia, Richard M. McBride.
McBrides son, State Sen, David T. McNeil, also ran for attorney General in 2016 and lost.
He ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2017, but now serves as an adviser to McBride and the Alliance.
His son, state Rep., David P. White, is the leader of the Liberty Caucus.
The alliance also includes state Reps.
Richard C. D. Hogg, R., and Robert H. Larkin, D., as well as state Senes Richard D. Watson, D. Va., and Scott M. Thomas, D.-Va.
A Republican strategist, John R. Allen, also serves as chairman of the alliance.
The group was formed to promote conservative views, and it has included many of the most prominent voices in Virginia politics.
This week, it held its first annual conference.
The conference is sponsored by the Virginia Liberty Coalition and the Virginia Institute of Technology.
It features speakers such as former GOP congressman Mike Rogers, who chairs the House Liberty Caucus; the former Republican congressman Jim Geraghty, a prominent conservative advocate; and conservative activist David Horowitz.
Allen is a former vice president at the National Republican Congressional Committee.
He now serves on the board of the Virginia Leadership Alliance, which promotes Republican candidates and causes in the state.
Allen said the conference is a forum for “people of faith, for people of the Commonwealth, and for the American people.”
“Our goal is to bring the best of the conservative and libertarian wings of our party together,” Allen said.
He said the Alliance is a group of people who share a commitment to the Constitution and to the American system of government.
“The Alliance is about finding common ground and finding common goals,” Allen added.
The Virginia Liberty Caucus’s political platform is also conservative.
The party has said it opposes the Common Center curriculum, which it has called a failure.
It supports abortion rights, supports states’ rights and supports a constitutional convention, which would draft new constitutional amendments.
The Conservative Political Action Conference is sponsored jointly by the Heritage Foundation and the American Conservative Union, a conservative group.
The CPAC conference is the first to feature speakers such the former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, Rev. Billy Graham; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich; and former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Eric Cantor, a leading conservative voice in Washington.
The Conference for the Defense of Marriage Act, also known as DOMA, was signed into law in 1996 by President Bill Clinton.
It prohibits federal recognition of marriages between people of different races or religions.
The law is also opposed by some gay and lesbian couples, who say it denies them the right to wed.
“DOMA is a disaster for marriage,” said Laura Smith, executive director of Freedom to Marry, a pro-equality group.
“It’s a dangerous, regressive piece of legislation that threatens our freedom to marry.”
The Virginia Freedom Foundation, a state organization that promotes marriage