Stewart gets jump on unsettled 2013 field
Despite being in the midst of a contentious and serious battle for the 2012 federal elections. Virginia politicos are preparing for what could be an incredibly competitive 2013. Several candidates on both sides are either publicly or quietly mulling a run for statewide office. At this point the most of the conversations are speculative and the large field that currently exists will certainly be widdled down by the time voters are actually forced to make decisions. However with the active and ambitious crop being discussed heated primaries and/or state party conventions are almost certain.
Republicans are already dealing with a holy war at the top of their ticket between Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and Lt. Governor Bill Bolling. The Bolling- Cuccinelli feud may be only part of what the GOP will be dealing with. A number of candidates are considering runs for Lt. Governor and Attorney General that if they hold it could mean competitive nominating contests on all levels.
A particularly interesting battle is setting up in the republican Lt. Governor’s race. Wednesday, the ambitious Chair of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors Corey Stewart formally entered the race. Stewart is well-known in political circles, in part because of the numerous times he has tossed his name into prospective statewide races only to back away. Most recently Stewart seriously considering running for the open U.S. Senate seat. He even went as far to say some pretty critical things about former Senator George Allen, who he later endorsed.
On First at 4, Stewart told me that the timing was right for him to run statewide this time.
“We’ve been able to reduce taxes, we’ve cut spending by more than $143 million dollars (in Prince William County) instituted some good budgetary reforms while still putting a lot more money into transportation, and I’d like to do the same thing for the Commonwealth of Virginia,” he said.
Stewart won’t be alone in the race for the state’s second spot. Pete Snyder, the wealthy technology entrepreneur and ally of Governor Bob McDonnell is also mulling a run. Snyder is getting quite a bit of face time in his role as the Virginia GOP’s chief fundraiser. He appeared on First at 4 a couple of weeks ago.
The republicans also have several candidates considering a run for Attorney General, the most prominent, Harrisonburg Senator Mark Obenshain and Charlottesville Delegate Rob Bell.
But too many candidates for not enough positions is not a problem exclusive to republicans. multiple candidates are lining up on the democratic side. State Senator Chap Petersen has already set up a PAC and has said he plans a gubernatorial run. Former DNC Chair Terry McAuliffe is widely expected to make another run. This is of course if the long running rumor that Senator Mark Warner would like to come back to Richmond, turns out to be just a rumor.
The lower parts of the ticket aren’t quite lined up as orderly as their counterparts on the republican side, but prominent democrats are being floated in those positions as well. Among them, Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael Herring and former Delegate Ward Armstrong. Update: Friends of Loudon Democratic Senator Mark Herring emailed to remind me that he has officially begun exploring a run for Attorney General.
There are other names being whispered as well. Former candidate for Lt. Governor Michael Signer and his close friend former Rep. Tom Perriello both have been suggested as statewide candidates. Henrico Sen. Don McEachin ran for Attorney General before and could be thrown into the mix and a new rising start, Alexandria Del. Charniele Herring hasn’t formally talked about running statewide, but was a key voice in the battle over abortion in this year’s General Assembly session and might be a name brought up in the future.
So much of this talk is just that talk. Names thrown into the air to see what the reception is to gauge the possibility of investing, time, energy and quite a bit of money into running statewide. That is what make’s the Stewart announcement so significant. He is all in. More than a year before anyone will be forced to make a decision about who they would like as their nominee.
Will getting out first pay off? Stewart is betting it will. It is a question we won’t know the answer to, until we get through the first brutal election still in front of us.
Our full interview with Chairman Stewart can be found below:
Stewart’s full announcement can be found after the jump:
Corey Stewart Announces Candidacy for
Lieutenant Governor of Virginia
Woodbridge, VA –Today Corey Stewart, Chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, announced his candidacy to become the 40th Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Stewart said “When I was elected Chairman our country soon experienced the worst recession in our lifetime. Prince William was especially hard hit. Instead of raising taxes we reduced regulation to help spur job creation, invested in infrastructure and public safety and cut $143 million from our budget. We set an example for fiscal conservative governance as the only Republican-led jurisdiction in Northern Virginia.”
“Prince William County is a model for how to implement good conservative principles. Taxes are down, crime is down, and growth is up. I am going to bring to the Office of Lieutenant Governor the same conservative principles that I have led Prince William County with over the past 6 years.”
Stewart continued, “While the Virginia budget has grown by $15.5 Billion over the past 10 years, only 5% of the new revenue has been dedicated to transportation. We need to reprioritize transportation in the state budget. The lifeblood of any growing economy is infrastructure. If we do not find a solution now we are going to bring our economic growth across the Commonwealth to a halt. There is no more time to waste. In 2 years, the transportation construction fund goes broke and the highway maintenance fund goes broke not long after.”
“We do many things right in Virginia but we can and must do more. I intend to use the Lt. Governor’s position as a platform to push for much needed fiscal reform in the Commonwealth,” added Stewart.
Prince William County is located 25 miles south of Washington, D.C. and has approximately 425,00 residents. It is the second largest county in Virginia. Under Stewart’s leadership, Prince William County has been upgraded to AAA bond status by all three major credit rating agencies, has consistently been ranked in the top 10 in the nation in job growth, and income levels have risen even during what has been the worst recession of our time.
Corey Stewart has been the At-Large Chairman of Prince William County since 2006 and was reelected in 2007 and 2011. In 2011, Stewart was reelected Chairman with 58% of the vote. Corey and his wife of 17 years, Maria, reside in Woodbridge with their two sons Isaac and Luke.
Corey has media availability throughout the day and the remainder of this week. To schedule an interview please contact Kevin McNulty, 267-804-4510.