Why is it that we spent so much time asking if Sarah Palin would be ready to be President, but no one asks if Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor candidates are ready to be Governor? True, the Virginia Governor doesn’t get the “nuclear football” and no Lt. Governor candidate has become Governor through a vacancy in the last 100 years (if ever). Nevertheless, there is “no higher honor” than being Governor of the Commonwealth and our Lt. Governor candidate has to be ready to lead through these tough times should a vacancy occur.
Jody Wagner clearly has the qualifications, experience, and vision to serve not only as a great Lt. Governor, but as Governor if necessary. She served in Governor Warner’s administration as Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Virginia and helped him put Virginia’s fiscal house back in order after the mess of the Gilmore administration. She served as Governor Kaine’s Secretary of Finance, the first female to hold that position in Virginia’s history. She has helped Governor Kaine keep Virginia fiscally strong despite difficult economic times. She stood up to the Republicans in the General Assembly by explaining and defending Kaine Administration policy and was able to win support for bond and other initiatives. As a result, during Jody’s time in state government, Virginia was named the best managed state in the nation twice, the best state for business three times, and the best state for raising children. You only have to meet her to know that she is polished, sharp, cares deeply about Virginia and its families, and would be a wonderful leader for Virginia.
I won’t say anything bad about Virginia’s other Democratic Lt. Governor Candidates. John Bowerbank is in his first term as a Russell County Supervisor and has been a generous and constant presence at Virginia Democratic events over the past year. I like Mike Signer, he worked for my law firm, and he’s really smart and thoughtful. I had lunch with Rich Savage at JJ and I know he has worked in his community. Pat Edmondson was just elected to the Virginia Beach School Board. But face it –- of all the candidates, the one who is clearly is most ready to lead the Commonwealth is Jody Wagner.