Although we made it clear in our editorial in this space last week, entitled, “No State for Old Prejudices,” we wish to make official our endorsement of Democratic State Sen. Creigh Deeds for Governor of Virginia in the upcoming Nov. 3 election.
We also endorse Jody Wagner for Lieutenant Governor and Steve Shannon for Attorney General. In area races for State Delegate, we endorse Del. Jim Scott in the 53rd District, Del. Margi Vanderhye in the 34th District, and Kaye Kory in the 38th District. Further, we strongly urge voters to get to the polls on Nov. 3, hopefully to support the candidates we have determined will be the best to address the pressing needs of Virginians.
In the governor’s race, the contrast between Deeds and his Republican challenge, Attorney General Bob McDonnell, could not be sharper. For Deeds, from a humble beginning in rural Virginia, his passion for education is personal, as well as political. He won the debate hosted by the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce last month because of his passion for protecting education from the plan by McDonnell to pay for transportation improvements from the general fund. McDonnell’s plan has correctly been called “robbing Peter (education) to pay Paul (transportation)” in his zeal to curb spending.
As for the argument that McDonnell will be better for business in Virginia because of his fiscal discipline, it is important to recall that in 2004, when then Gov. Mark Warner crafted a bi-partisan approach to salvage the state’s finances from four years of ruin by his predecessor, McDonnell was one among a handful of ideological right-wingers who voted “no.” Had McDonnell’s vote prevailed, the state’s credit rating would have been ruined, and its legacy, cultivated under Democratic governors Warner and Tim Kaine, as the best managed state in the nation, the best state in which to do business, and the best state to raise a child, would have been wiped out.
McDonnell has a long voting record of denying pay increases to teachers and funding for child care. Not a “mainstream” Republican like those who voted to restore the budget in 2004, McDonnell has run a stealth-like campaign, masking his right-wing social and political agenda that dates to his days at evangelist Pat Robertson’s Regent Law School, and his years serving on its board of trustees.
Although we did not endorse Deeds in the Democratic primary last spring, we’ve come to appreciate his truly human and compassionate commitment to education and good government. In troubled economic times, the state needs a man of his character at the State House.
An even more strident and openly extremist right wing candidate than McDonnell is State Sen. Ken Cuccinelli running for Attorney General. As for Bob Bolling for Lieutenant Govenor, the idea he’s running for re-election with his record absenteeism in his first term is bemusing.