So, I spoke way too soon on Jon Bowerbank’s issues page and campaign website in general. His issues page is already significantly longer and his section on energy is really quite good. His bio page is significantly improved as well, mentioning his work on the Russell County Board of Supervisors and adding the interesting fact that his family immigrated to the US when he was 11.
Still, it will be good for Bowerbank to get some campaign experience before he has to go head to head against Bolling.
Jon Bowerbank has made it official. As I mentioned last week, he’s running for the Democratic Lieutenant Governor nomination to take on Bill Bolling next November.
Bowerbank has a website up, but it definitely isn’t ready for prime time yet, which seems odd for a guy who has locked up so much of the top Virginia Democratic web talent. His issues page is laughable at the moment, consisting entirely of:
Jon will work to create better jobs. As a successful businessman, Jon knows that thriving communities are anchored by good paying jobs. As Lt. Governor, Jon will work with the business community to find ways to grow and expand jobs throughout the Commonwealth.
Jon will work to improve our schools. Jon knows that a strong commitment to education creates opportunities for all of Virginia’s school children to reach their full potential. As such, Jon will work for stronger schools that give our kids the best chance to succeed.
Jon will fight to make sure our government works for you. Jon understands and believes that state government has a responsibility to you as taxpayers to work efficiently and tirelessly and as such he will work to make sure that state government is accountable and efficient.
While all of that may be unobjectionable, it’s hardly anything like an agenda or campaign platform. I know he just got into the race, but if you’re going to put a website up, at least have it be credible.
One interesting thing thus far about Bowerbank is the extent to which he’s played down the fact that he already holds elected office in Virginia. His “About Jon” page is all about his business experience. Similarly, everything I’ve seen about him in the blogosphere describes him as nothing more than a businessman. However, Bowerbank was elected to a seat on the Russell County Board of Supervisors in 2007, running as an independent and defeating both a Democrat and a Republican.
The more I see about Bowerbank the more questions I have. Is this guy really ready to run the state if something happens to the Governor? He told the Roanoke times that “he easily could have won election to a district-level seat on the board of supervisors based on community reaction to the Honaker field. But he chose instead to test himself by running countywide.” If that’s his idea of a political test he’s nowhere near ready to take on Bill Bolling.
On the plus side he’s clearly willing to plow his own money into the race. The Post reported that he’s already put in $75,000 of his own cash to get off the ground. Clearly, however, Bowerbank would benefit greatly from a hotly contested primary if he is going to represent the Democrats next fall. I definitely hope Jody Wagner gets into the race to give Bowerbank a real opponent before he launches into a general election campaign.
Mark Warner is kicking off his Senate campaign this week. Although the race this fall likely won’t be especially close, its very nice to see Warner taking it seriously and working hard to get the state behind him again. Warner has massive built in advantages over either of his possible Republican opponents, starting with his huge popularity in the state and massive money advantage. Warner is remembered very well in Virginia from his gubernatorial term, whereas Jim Gilmore is not. Gilmore is also locked in a tough nomination fight against Delegate Bob Marshall, who is hammering the already conservative Gilmore from the hard right. Marshall is the most conservative member of a Republican House of Delegates caucus that is already far to the right of Virginia, yet he is popular among conservative activists and is widely viewed as being more consistent and more principled that Gilmore. This race is already at the top of almost every ranking of competitive Senate races including those of the conservative VA Blogger over at Too Conservative, who calls Warner’s position “all-but-guaranteed.”
The GOP’s only chance at this race was likely if Warner decided he had it in the bag and mailed in the campaign, but that doesn’t look likely. He’s running on the same formula that he used in his successful campaign for Governor. This looks like a safe pickup for the Democrats.