Bowerbank out of Dem LG Race, backs Wagner
The race for Lt. Governor thinned out quite a bit on Friday with the news that Russell County businessman Jon Bowerbank has ended campaign and thrown his support behind former State Finance Secretary Jody Wagner.
Wagner will now face Democratic party operative Mike Signer for the number two position on the Democratic ticket in the June primary.
The news of Bowerbank’s decision brought joy from many Wagner supporters, many of whom are also working for or are supporting gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe.
McAuliffe and Wagner have not formally endorsed one another but they share many of the same operatives and at least present the appearance of such.
While Wagner’s team must pleased that they have one less opponent to deal with, the argument can be made that Bowerbank dropping out can be helpful for Signer as well. With such a small of potential voters to draw from, in a race that has not gotten much attention, Signer now has a straight head to head match up where all bets are off.
25 days to go until voters pick the nominees. It is just starting to get interesting.
The full release from the Wagner campaign on the Bowerbank withdrawal is after the jump..
**Updated** Mike Signer’s statement on the Bowerbank move is also after the jump…
BOWERBANK ENDORSES WAGNER
RICHMOND – Today former Secretary of Finance Jody Wagner thanked Jon Bowerbank for his support. On Friday, Bowerbank ended his candidacy for Lt. Governor and endorsed Wagner, saying “I have…reached a decision to suspend my campaign and to throw my full and unqualified endorsement behind the candidacy of Jody Wagner. I have gotten to know Jody well on the campaign trail and believe she would be a great nominee and a great Lieutenant Governor”
Wagner released the following statement: “I want to sincerely thank Jon for his support. Since I entered this race last August, Jon and I have shared a commitment to addressing the critical issues that face the Commonwealth. Jon has been a tireless advocate for creating new jobs, expanding the economy, and strengthening our public education system. I have great respect for his experience in starting and growing a business in Virginia – a background we share, and one that will be critical in helping to turn our state into a leader in the industries of the future, such as renewable energy production. I look forward to campaigning alongside Jon in the coming weeks and months, and I know the Democratic Party of Virginia is fortunate to have his leadership.”
STATEMENT FROM MIKE SIGNER ON JON BOWERBANK’S DEPARTURE FROM RACE
“Jon Bowerbank was a formidable opponent and I wish him the best of luck in his personal, professional, and future political life.”
“This development is great news for this campaign. We will now have a two-person race, with clear choices. Make no mistake: I am running because the Democratic Party I’ve been fighting for for nearly 15 years is about social justice and economic fairness. I have the fire in the belly to take on Bill Bolling with my message of turning the office of Lieutenant Governor from a placeholder to a public advocate and shine a spotlight on problems we’ve ignored for too long. As Senior Strategist to Tom Perriello on his upset race last year, I have a record of beating tough Republicans—and I can’t wait to do it again this fall.”
“With the highest number of online donors, growing union support, three Congressional District Democratic chairs, dozens of local Democratic chairs, and a growing number of elected officials joining my campaign, one thing is clear: this campaign is about momentum, which will take us through June 9 and to victory this fall.”