Candidate’s wife makes presses flesh at P’nut Fest

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 9, 2005

The steady rainfall on Friday didn’t keep Marty Kilgore, wife of Republican gubernatorial candidate Jerry Kilgore, from Peanut Fest.

Marty Kilgore, equipped with a leopard-print umbrella,

spent a couple of hours meeting and greeting Suffolk folks at the muddy festival site Friday afternoon.

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On a whirlwind tour through Hampton Roads, she left Suffolk and headed to Norfolk for yet anther campaign appearance.

&uot;A lot of times politics can change people,&uot; said Kilgore, a former schoolteacher whose last job was as executive director of the Virginia Tobacco Settlement Foundation. &uot;But one thing I can say about Jerry is that he is still the same man I married 15 years ago.

&uot;Jerry doesn’t look at polls or the political climate,&uot; she said. &uot;He is very steadfast in his beliefs…and if he says he is going to do something, then he does it. He delivers on his promises.&uot;

Kilgore, who taught middle school in Scott County for several years, said education is one of husband’s top priorities. He is promoting a program called the &uot;RRR’s For Teacher,&uot; which revolves around recruitment, retention and rewarding the state’s best educators.

&uot;Virginia’s children deserve the nation’s best teachers,&uot;

Kilgore said. &uot;The teacher is the most important person in the classroom.

&uot;We want to make sure we get and keep the most qualified teachers. The proposal also calls for better pay for better teachers.&uot;

Kilgore said her husband is in tune with transportation issues, including the much-needed third crossing that is facing Hampton Roads residents today.

&uot;It’s critical that we work on solving these transportation problems, particularly with all the visitors that will be coming in for the Jamestown 2007 celebration,&uot; Kilgore said. &uot;We must get transportation moving again.&uot;

The entire family has gotten involved in Jerry Kilgore’s gubernatorial campaign, she said. She sandwiches campaign trips between nights at home with the couple’s two children, Klarke, 12, and Kelsey, 9. Both the children attend public school in Henrico County.

Even the children have gotten involved in the campaign, Kilgore said.

Last month, Klarke and Kelsey sponsored the &uot;Kids for Kilgore,&uot; a campaign rally for their school and political friends.

&uot;They have been to lots of fairs, festivals and parades…and they are pretty good at stuffing envelopes,&uot; Kilgore said. &uot;We think it is important that this be a family affair. It’s important for the kids to feel they are a part of the campaign team.&uot;

As the campaign swings into its final weeks, Kilgore will continue making stops at rallies across Virginia.

&uot;I love it,&uot; she said. &uot;I’m a people person. I enjoy meeting people and finding out what is on their minds…and sharing that with Jerry.