Who’s Positioned for Democratic State Runs in 2013?

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    I suppose it’s never too soon to begin to speculate on exactly which Democrats might by getting a case of “Richmond Fever” for 2013. (Otherwise, we can only sit around and watch Bob McDonnell fiddle in the governor’s mansion while Ken Cuccinelli marches his army of troglodytes to the edge of his flat earth in order to stage another foot-stamping anger fit with a lawsuit attached.)

    It’s hardly a secret that Terry McAuliffe is busy following in the footsteps of Mark Warner by working to bring jobs to areas of Virginia that need all the assistance they can get, in a scarcely disguised bid for a gubernatorial nomination. Recently,  McAuliffe announced that his green car company, Greentech Automotive, had purchased EuAuto Technology Ltd., a company that makes and distributes electric cars. Additionally, McAuliffe still has a bid alive to purchase the now-closed International Paper plant in Isle of Wight County and convert it to a biomass energy plant. Result? Jobs, jobs, jobs…and, if successful, a nomination.

    Then, we can’t ignore how Del. Ward Armstrong has been acting of late. He has visited three Democratic events in Fairfax and Loudoun counties, plus making himself seen at a couple of congressional district conventions. He’s acting like an early gubernatorial candidate.

    (I have to say something at this point. After 2009, I personally don’t want to see the Virginia Democratic party nominate another rural (Henry County), anti-abortion, gun-toting, health reform criticizing guy for governor. I hope we learned something from last year. If not, then the DPVA is hopeless.)

    There are those who say that Jon Bowerbank, whose only political office to date has been on the Russell County (rural again) board of supervisors, plus his unsuccessful attempt to get the 2009 Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor, could again seek that nomination.  Another possible candidate for lieutenant governor is Kenneth Alexander, delegate from Norfolk’s 89th House District.

    For attorney general, will John Edwards, state senator from Roanoke, get his act together earlier next time and declare for office in a timely fashion? Last year, Edwards stated an interest in the office of attorney general, but he waited until it was far too late to actually vie for the nomination.

    The only person who appeals to me for attorney general is State Sen.Mark Herring, who represents the 33rd District that includes Loudoun and Fairfax counties. Now, Herring is a very impressive candidate, at least to me.

    I was especially interested in Sen. Herring’s bill last session, SJ 99, which would privatize rest areas on state interstates. This idea, one that has proven lucrative on the Massachusetts and Pennsylvania Turnpikes, would recover the cost of operating rest areas, as well as expand commercial activity on state roads and generate additional revenue for transportation. You know, there are times to have governmental control and times to actually let private enterprise do its thing.

    Does anyone have further thoughts? Let us know.

    • either for Governor or AG is certainly possible.

    • For AG? LG? G?  

    • n/t

    • The Richmonder

      McAuliffe for Governor

      Petersen for Lieutenant Governor

      McEachin for Attorney General

    • NotBarryO

      Ben’s idea from the other day isn’t necessarily a bad one.

      Also, I have no idea if he’s a Democrat or not, but Alan Merten of GMU could be a very attractive statewide candidate.  

    • martinlomasney

      Isn’t Petersen pro-gun?  Didn’t Devolites run to his left on guns?  Petersen is too clever by half.

      I’d rather see his law partner, Scott Surovell, former chair of FCDC and current Delegate, run for AG.

      BTW, happy to have Elaine from Roanoke agree with me but can I get at least a h/t, having posted a diary on this over the weekend with the link to the RTD story on Ward Armstrong’s exploratory trip through NoVa.  Second time you’ve done this, Elaine! Throw me bone. 😉

    • libra

      It’s a popular idea (not only in VA) and it sounds good but… I read an article (NYT?) a few months ago, which said it’s only an option for private Turnpikes (aka toll roads). Roads which had been built using taxpayer money, have to be open to the public free of charge and maintained by the state/federal governments (DoT). That includes the rest stops and their maintenance.

      I suppose that must be true, because I have never seen anything like the “mini shopping centers” (gas station, restaurant, drugstore, and, sometimes, a motel), which are fairly common on the PA Turnpike (and in UK), on any of the I-roads (I-81, I-64 and others, out of state). I guess it might be possible to have rest areas operating as private franchises but, first, the roads themselves might have to be privatised/turned into toll roads. And, again, we might run into the problem of having to repay the monies that the federal govt had invested in their building.

      Now, you used the term “state interstates” so, perhaps, you’re not talking about the I-roads but, only the state ones. There, I think, we’d have more of a say-so, since only the state money had been involved in their building. OTOH… I’ve yet to see a single rest stop on Rte60 or Rte11 (the two state routes I’m most likely to use). If anyone were willing to build private rest stops on those roads I’d be more than grateful; getting off the road to find the nearest a pee-spot is always a loss of time.  

    • Randy Klear

      He lost the 2001 AG primary to Donald McEachin, then dropped out in 2005 when it became obvious that Creigh Deeds had the money and the endorsements. Edwards will also turn 70 just before the 2013 elections. That’s not a disqualification, but it will make it a challenge to attract the youth vote.

    • Demosthenes

      As of right now we have Terry McAuliffe, Chap Petersen, Don McEachin, Mark Herring, Ward Armstrong, Jon Bowerbank, Ken Alexander, and John Edwards all sorting themselves out for 2013 runs.

      When looking at this motley crew I can’t help but think of the nomination fights of 2009, and the relatively poor financial situations that plagued the winners. Moreover, given the strong poll numbers posted by McDonnell and his coattails, all three statewide democratic candidates were forced to run away from each other seeking crossover votes.

      What I would love to see is a strong, united ticket that is able to clearly articulate a well crafted message (which shouldn’t be too hard to come up with considering the current madness in Richmond).

      Governor-Terry McAuliffe – he’s not as Virginian as some people would like, but there is literally no end to the energy that he would bring to the race. Sets a nice tone of green jobs and renewable energy.

      Lt. Governor-Jon Bowerbank – he’s from rural Virginia, yes, but he also speaks the business lingo of the urban crescent, and has managed a sizable and successful business. With a bit more polish, he’s certainly ready for statewide office.

      Attorney General-Don McEachin – he’s been the most vocal opponent of Ken Cuccinelli’s reprehensible behavior thus far, and has done a good job in the Senate keeping Republicans honest.

      Start printing the yard signs…  

      • Elaine in Roanoke

        The Massachusetts Turnpike has them. However, you may be correct about state money being involved. As far as I know, the only Interstates that are given automatic tolling rights are those that had been built first by states and then were upgraded to Interstate standards. (Pennsylvania Turnpike is one of the oldest in the country. The NJ Turnpike is still a private road, even though it is designated I-95.)

        Maybe the Virginia AG, Ken Cuccinelli, could research that issue for interested members of the General Assembly like Herring. That is, if his staff has any time at all left over from suing the fedeal government over every issue Cooch opposes. 🙂

    • There have also been rumors, although I’ve been assured by several people that they’re unfounded, that Gerry Connolly might have his eyes on the governor’s mansion.  I’ve also heard other names bandied about: Rick Boucher, Tom Perriello, even Mark Warner.  For now, I don’t really put any stock in any of them for 2013.

    • I wouldn’t be surprised to see Englin run for statewide office at some point, although maybe not as soon as 2013.

    • WestEndVoter

      I have heard that 2012 is his last year as an Alexandria Councilman.  I’m not sure if he has LG in his plans, if he is considering something a bit more local, or if he is getting out all together.  

    • MimiStratton

      Where are the women candidates for Virginia Governor?