In a perfect world, our next lieutenant governor would have the courage to speak truth to power like Susan Stimpson, be as creative and innovative as Pete Synder, the oratory and faith of BishopJackson, have the legislative experience of Jeannemarie Davis and Steve Martin, the commitment of Scott Lingamfelter and Corey Stewart, and the pragmatism of Bill Bolling.
That perfect world, like many others, does not exist.
All of the candidates for lieutenant governor are strong conservatives. Most would make for an excellent lieutenant governor. It’s difficult to find that one candidate that motivates us as an organization; that we feel would be the best fit for the Cuccinelli-Obenshain team. This isn’t 2009, by a long shot; we expect the rest of the lead up to Richmond, as well as the convention itself, to be a continued race to the bottom, as conventions can sometimes be.
There are four candidates who have, to this point, most appealed to us. Steve Martin, given his long record of experience in the General Assembly, has no learning curve to move to the Lieutenant Governor’s seat; his conservative record endears to many. The same can be said for Scott Lingamfelter, who has been a consistent fighter for Virginia’s values; his consistency and integrity are principles we greatly admire. Pete Synder is in a league by himself; a proven job creator, his motivation and creativity are refreshing, and most needed to energize our party after the defeats of 2012. Jeannemarie Davis’s intimate knowledge of policy stands unmatched when compared to that of the other candidates.
None of the candidates are without their flaws. We believe that Susan Stimpson’s statements on inclusion and inspiration, while correct in context, will prove troublesome in a general election. We are, to say, not inspired by her. E.W. Jackson’s learning curve to the #2 spot in state government is too steep; we feel he would be better served-as we did last year-by building a record not just of principled stands, but of results in a lower seat of government or the private sector.
From these good individuals, we will decide who our next lieutenant governor will be. Today, there is no front runner; no one person we can point to as our guy-or girl. None of the candidates have matched Cuccinelli’s or Obenshain’s willingness to reach out to not only black conservatives, but our community as a whole, and none, except Stimpson, have said how they would.
Therefore, while we are committed to supporting the eventual nominee, VBC declines to endorse in the lieutenant governor’s race at this time. Our invitations and willingness to speak with the candidates remains open; we hope to hear from more of them.