Sunday, August 12, 2012

Democrats begin announcing for 2013 state elections

Aneesh Chopra and Sen. Mark Herring

The 2012 national elections are heating up in preparation for November 6 election day. That comes as no surprise to Virginians deluged with campaign TV ads as the Commonwealth has become a critical presidential swing state. There is also the close race for Virginia U.S. Senate between governor Tim Kaine and former senator George Allen.

Virginians though while immersed in national election coverage can see out of the corner of their eye another pending election. State candidates are lining up for 2013 for both the Democratic and Republican nominations for governor, Lt. governor and attorney general.

As the Republicans plan for a possible contentious convention with Lt. governor Bill Bolling and attorney general Ken Cuccinelli vying for the gubernatorial nomination Democrats too are declaring their candidacies.

Aneesh Chopra will seek the Virginia Democratic nomination for Lieutenant Governor in 2013. Chopra was appointed by President Obama as the nation’s first United States Chief Technology Officer. As an Assistant to the President, he designed the National Wireless Initiative and executed an “open innovation” strategy across the agencies built on private sector collaboration. Chopra previously served as Virginia’s Secretary of Technology under Governor Tim Kaine from 2006 – April 2009.

In his announcement he said, “We live in a time of profound change. In our communities, our Commonwealth and our country, people are looking for pragmatic solutions that address our biggest problems, create opportunities and improve our lives.

Ideas matter. And so does action to make our economy work for everyone.”

Stepping up to the plate for attorney general Tuesday was Virginia Senator Mark Herring a Democrat in Loudoun and Fairfax counties. “It’s time to get politics out of the Attorney General’s office and return its focus to doing what’s right for the people of Virginia. I will fight to protect consumers, defend civil rights and ensure state agencies are accountable to the people. And I will stand up for the right of women to make their own healthcare decisions without government interference,” he said.

He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Virginia. Since graduating with honors from the University of Richmond School of Law, he has practiced law in Leesburg for 22 years. He is the Principal of the law firm Herring & Turner, P.C.

As Senator, Herring supported legislation for background checks at gun shows. He also was one of a few state senators to vote to cap car title loans and other associated fees.

Mike Signer is another expected attorney general candidate. Signer ran for lieutenant governor in 2009. Former House Minority Leader Ward Armstrong, who lost his seat challenging Delegate Charles Poindexter is also said to be considering running for attorney general.

Republican candidates expecting to run for attorney general include Delegate Robert Bell of Charlottesville and Senator Mark Obenshain of Harrisonburg.

The gubernatorial candidate for the Democrats is expected to be Terry McAuliffe who ran unsuccessfully in a Democratic primary in 2007. Senator Creigh Deeds won that race only to lose to Republican Bob McDonnell. Still hanging out in the rumor mill and yet to be denied is the possibility of U.S. Senator Mark Warner stepping in to run for governor. McAuliffe would step aside should Warner opt in to the governor race.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Election 2013, Elections, Politics, State Politics

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