Next Tuesday, June 9, is primary day for many Democratic candidates in Virginia. Nominations for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and the 38th Delegate District rest on voter turnout.
Virginia is the only state in the nation where the Governor is limited to one term; he cannot succeed himself. I use the gender pronoun advisedly, since there have been no female Virginia Governors – yet! Several Democrats are vying to succeed Governor Tim Kaine (D) next January, and the airwaves and mailboxes are full of information to help along your decision.
State Senator Creigh Deeds, former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe, and long-time Alexandria Delegate Brian Moran are running vigorous races in pursuit of the nomination. Deeds, whose Senate district stretches from Charlottesville to West Virginia, has longtime experience in the General Assembly, and very narrowly lost a statewide race for Attorney General in 2005. McAuliffe, a Fairfax County resident, is well-known nationally, but has no record of local community activity to support his candidacy. Moran, who represented portions of Northern Virginia in the General Assembly for 10 years, has a strong record of support for public safety issues, including successfully initiating legislation to protect victims of domestic violence and stalking. Moran’s knowledge of the entire Commonwealth, gleaned from his work as chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, coupled with his understanding of the needs of Northern Virginia, make him an excellent choice for the gubernatorial nomination.
The race for the Lieutenant Governor nomination has narrowed to two: former Virginia Treasurer and Secretary of Finance Jody Wagner from the Tidewater area, and newcomer Michael Signer of Arlington. A third candidate, Russell County Supervisor Jon Bowerbank, withdrew in early May, but too late for his name to be removed from the ballot. Signer identifies himself as an “aggressive progressive,” and has worked on recent Democratic campaigns in Virginia. Jody Wagner has the economic and financial experience, as well as the ability to work with the General Assembly, to ensure Virginia’s viability in these tough economic times. During Jody’s tenure in Richmond, Virginia was named the best managed state in the nation twice, best state for business three times, and the best state for raising children. The best vote for Virginia’s Lt. Governor is for Jody Wagner.
In an unusual turn, 38th District Delegate Bob Hull is facing an intra-party challenge from Mason District School Board member Kaye Kory. Hull, a 17-year veteran of the General Assembly, is campaigning on a platform of relieving traffic congestion by any means possible, reforming the school funding formula, and making changes to allow Virginia to draw down on federal stimulus funds for the state’s unemployment trust fund. Hull points to his record on choice, firearms prohibition, and the smoking ban in restaurants as recent accomplishments, and has been endorsed by the Virginia Association of Realtors and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Challenger Kory is a 10-year veteran of the School Board, representing many of the same precincts that make up the 38th. Kory’s focus in Richmond will be on protecting education funding, finding pragmatic short-term fixes and long-term solutions for transportation, supporting efforts to improve the environment, and expanding green job creation. Endorsed by the Fairfax County Professional Firefighters and Paramedics, Kory says she wants to bring attentive, problem solving, and progressive leadership to the 38th District. Both candidates are working hard to convince voters in this high-stakes race.
Primary voters should go to their regular polling places to vote on Tuesday. Polls are open from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m.