Home 2017 Races Wednesday News: Thank You Alabama; “G.O.P. Tragedy in Four Acts”; McAuliffe: “Trump...

Wednesday News: Thank You Alabama; “G.O.P. Tragedy in Four Acts”; McAuliffe: “Trump & Moore=Disaster. Game over. America great again.”


by Lowell

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Wednesday, December 13.

  • Any betting on cabinet picks announced today?

    Public Schedule of Governor-Elect Ralph Northam
    Wednesday, December 13th

    Wednesday, December 13th

    11:45 AM
    Governor-Elect Northam to make a personnel announcement at the Hampton Roads Chamber Luncheon
    Virginia Beach Convention Center
    1000 19th Street
    Virginia Beach, VA 23451

  • Quizzical
  • Audio: For the record, Corey Stewart yesterday predicted Roy Moore by 10 points, also said he’d be endorsed by Steve Bannon


  • Governor-Elect Ralph Northam Announces Transportation Appointments

    RICHMOND— Governor-elect Ralph Northam today announced at the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce annual luncheon his selection of Shannon Valentine as Virginia’s next Secretary of Transportation. Governor-elect Northam also announced other key appointments for senior leadership positions within the transportation secretariat.

    Quintin Elliott will be joining the Northam administration as a Deputy Secretary. Nicholas Donohue will continue serving as Deputy Secretary and Director of the Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment.

    Stephen Brich will join the administration as Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Transportation, and Jennifer Mitchell will continue in her role as Director of the Department of Rail and Public Transportation.

    “A dynamic transportation system is the lynchpin to continuing the progress we’ve made on building the New Virginia Economy,” said Governor-elect Ralph Northam. “If we can unlock our transportation networks for every Virginian, no matter who you are, no matter where you are, the sky is the limit – and I’m committed to tackling the challenges we face and continuing our achievements as the 73rd governor. The selection of these talented public servants speaks volumes about the bar we plan to set when it comes to transportation policy across the Commonwealth.”

    Appointee Biographies

    Shannon Valentine, Secretary of Transportation

    Shannon Valentine currently sits on the Commonwealth Transportation Board for the Lynchburg District, having previously served as Co-Director for Governor-Elect Terry McAuliffe’s Transition Council for Transportation Policy previously. Shannon was elected to represent the 23rd district in the House of Delegates in 2006. During her time in the House of Delegates, 2006-2010, Shannon’s legislative priorities included transportation, economic development, ethics and education. She led the bipartisan, legislative effort to invest in intercity passenger rail service for the first time in Virginia’s history and worked to expand clean energy production. Prior to her election to the House of Delegates, Shannon worked to revitalize inner-city communities as the Neighborhood Coordinator with the Lynchburg Neighborhood Development Foundation. She worked in non-profit community development and corporate marketing and public relations in the late 1980s and 1990s. Shannon currently serves on serval private and non-profit groups across the Commonwealth, including: the Board of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership, Lynchburg City School Foundation, GO Virginia, OneVirginia 2021, Converge Virginia, Habitat for Humanity Advisory Council, and Beacon of Hope, an organization dedicated to inspiring and preparing students for post-secondary education. Shannon earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Virginia, holds an Education for Ministry certificate from Sewanee University, and is a graduate of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership. Shannon is from Lynchburg, Virginia.

    Quintin Elliott, Deputy Secretary of Transportation

    Quintin D. Elliot was named Chief Deputy Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) by Governor Terry McAuliffe in January of 2014. He served previously as the Fredericksburg District Administrator, where he oversaw VDOT’s construction and maintenance of more than 11,500 miles of state-maintained roads in the 14-county region. Quintin served as VDOT’s Culpepper District State Asset Management Division Administrator from 2002-2007, and as special assistant to the Assistant Commissioner for Operations and the Chief Engineer in 2002. From 1991 until 2001, he was the Williamsburg Resident Engineer. He began his career as a VDOT Transportation Engineer Trainee. Quintin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the Virginia Military Institute. Quintin is a veteran of the Virginia Air National Guard, retiring in 2008 as Commander of the 192nd Civil Engineering Squadron and the 203rd Red Horse Squadron Heavy Equipment Flight, with several decorations including the Meritorious Service Medal for his service during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He is a native of Natural Bridge.

    Nicholas Donohue, Deputy Secretary of Transportation; Director of the Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment

    Nicholas Donohue will continue serving as Deputy Secretary of Transportation and Director of the Office of Intermodal Planning and Investment. He served previously as Policy and Legislative Director for the Transportation for American Campaign. Prior to joining the Transportation for America Campaign, Nick served as Assistant Secretary of Transportation and as Special Assistant to the Secretary of Transportation during Governor Tim Kaine’s administration. Nicholas holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Urban Studies and Geography from Virginia Commonwealth University.

    Stephen Brich, Commissioner, Virginia Department of Transportation

    Stephen is currently a Vice President with Kimley-Horn and Associates focusing on transportation-related matters in Virginia. He has 26 years of experience specializing in the areas of traffic engineering, safety, operations, transportation planning, and research. Prior to joining Kimley-Horn, Stephen has served in several senior roles with VDOT including as the Assistant District Urban Program Manager, Division Administrator-Operations Management, and Assistant Division Administrator – Mobility Management Division. He has successfully led and managed a wide array of transportation-related projects and studies during his tenure with VDOT as well as in a consultant capacity. He also has been instrumental in developing various policy directives for VDOT as it relates to traffic engineering and transportation system management and operations. He began his career as an Engineering Technician in Norfolk, VA. Stephen holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Old Dominion University and a Master’s of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Virginia. He is a registered engineer in Maryland and Virginia. Stephen is from Hampton Roads, Virginia.

    Jennifer Mitchell, Director of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation

    Jennifer Mitchell was appointed by Governor Terry McAuliffe as the Director of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DPRT) in January 2014. She has 20 years of experience in transit management, transportation funding, policy development and major capital projects. Prior to joining DPRT, Jennifer served as an Assistant Vice President at Parsons Brinckerhoff, managing the company’s Transit Project Development and Finance practice. She served previously as the Deputy Project Director for Finance at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, and as Manager of Project Finance for the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project within the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transit. Jennifer has a Master’s in Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, and a Bachelor’s of Urban Planning from the University of Virginia. She is a member of the Executive Committee for the APTA Board of Directors, Chair of the American Public Transportation Foundation, and a member of APTA’s Policy and Planning and Legislative Committees.

  • Quizzical

    California considers mileage tax
    If gas tax revenues are too low to maintain the roads and bridges, what is the logical thing to do?

    • dave schutz

      My next car is going to be a plug in hybrid. Gas revenues are going to go down, and also they don’t charge any more for the most expensive part of the system –
      the road capacity at commute time. The system has got to harvest road money from me. I think the economically smartest thing to do is to put up toll gantries on all the major roads, and charge variable tolls depending on the time of day and level of congestion. Very like 66, but pretty much throughout the arterial roads. This will show shoppers that they are imposing social costs if they go out during commute hours.