As we just posted, it looks like Bob McDonnell is going to capture the governor's mansion.
We hope independent minded voters will take a hard look at the Lt. Governor's race, however. Virginians are famous for splitting their tickets in statewide races. While the Lt. Gov's race hasn't gotten all that much attention, the dynamics between Democrat Jody Wagner and Republican Bill Bolling are much different than in the governor's race.
Although Bolling has been Lt. Governor for the past four years, many Virginians have no idea who he is. He hasn't made much of a mark. He didn't challenge McDonnell for the GOP nomination as governor, and that tells you a lot. Really, who in their right mind wants to run for RE-ELECTION as Lt. Governor? That tells you a lot about Bolling right there.
Whatever you think of McDonnell's political and social views, he is charismatic. Bolling isn't. And he's just as conservative--maybe more so--than McDonnell.
In contrast, Jody Wagner is a dynamic candidate, with much more personality than Deeds. She has demonstrated her service to the Commonwealth as state treasurer under governor Warner, and Secretary of Finance under governor Kaine. These are low profile, but very important, administrative posts, which Wagner has filled in a non-partisan professional manner.
The interesting thing when you hear Jody speak, or talk with her, is that you don't get a sense that's she particularly ideological. She's most comfortable talking about the nuts and bolts of government. That's good. Although the Lt. Gov. job is largely ceremonial, it should be a stepping stone for nomination to run for governor, and Wagner would be a good one.
We hope she won't be lost in Deeds' shadow, or tarred for his campaign's lapses. Independent voters gave Tim Kaine a lackluster GOP Lt. Gov. If we have to have McDonnell as governor, let's at least pair him with a dynamic Democratic Lt. Gov. in Jody Wagner.