POLITICS
10/16/2012 03:41 pm ET Updated Oct 16, 2012

Eric Cantor Challenger Wayne Powell To Campaign With Bluegrass Icon Ralph Stanley

WASHINGTON -- House Democratic hopeful Wayne Powell has a tough fight ahead of him trying to unseat Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), so he's calling in the big guns: Ralph Stanley.

Powell's campaign announced Tuesday that the 85-year-old bluegrass music icon -- known by most for his Grammy Award-winning music in "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" -- will campaign with him in Virginia's 7th District on Oct. 23-24 and play shows in six towns. The name of the tour: "O Cantor, Where Art Thou?"

"Barnstorming is the ol' timey way to take the campaign to the people," Christian Rickers, Powell's campaign manager, said in a statement. "This is an all-too-often forgotten tradition of getting among the people, listening to them, and telling them where you stand. And who better to come along with Wayne and provide the music than Virginia's own Dr. Ralph Stanley?"

Stanley, who lives in Coeburn, Va., will perform with his son, also named Ralph Stanley, and his grandson, recording artist Nathan Stanley.

"This is going to be fun and informative," Powell said in a statement. "Since Eric Cantor doesn't spend much, if any, time with the people in the district, I think that the barnstorm title, 'O Cantor, Where Art Thou?' is perfect."

In keeping with the "where art thou?" theme, Powell's campaign also released a list of all the fundraisers Cantor has attended that aren't his district, or even in his state.

The Cantor campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Cantor and Powell held a debate earlier this month, which was a curious move by Cantor given that he hasn't participated in a congressional debate since 2001 and is in a safely Republican seat. Cantor, who is the House majority leader, beat his 2010 challenger by 25 percentage points.

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