Political Conventions and Silly Hats

Political ConventionsI now know how it feels to be a political celebrity. My wife and I were asked to be delegates at the upcoming Virginia Republican Convention and we agreed. After filling out the scant paperwork and making a small contribution, we were duly elected as official delegates. We are joining thousands of other Virginians to select our candidates for state-wide office.

Virginia is one of only two states, New Jersey being the other one, that has odd-year elections. Pundits are already saying that these two states will foretell the 2014 mid-year elections. I’m not so sure. I believe that all politics is local and the Republicans have done a good job in Virginia.

Left with a $2 billion structural deficit when Tim Kaine left office, Governor Bob McDonnell turned it into a $500 million surplus, without raising taxes. This past legislative session saw the passage of a landmark transportation bill that’s aim is to refurbish and upgrade the roads infrastructure of the state.

The Republicans now hold the three state-wide offices of governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general. We hope to sweep those offices once again.

Our gubernatorial candidate is Ken Cuccinelli, the current attorney general. When he ran in 2009 he promised to sue the federal government for our rights. And he kept his word! On the day that Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, the attorney general personally walked across the street from his office in Richmond and filed the first suit against Obamacare. He is running unopposed.

For lieutenant governor we have seven people fighting for the job and that’s where the political celebrity thing starts. With seven different candidates we delegates are starting to be bombarded with emails, direct mail and meet-and-greet opportunities.

So far we’ve received emails from five of the seven candidates, direct mail from the same five and hospitality opportunities from two. And the convention is still about six weeks away. I expect the “selling” pressure to heat up the closer we get to the convention.

The attorney general’s race is a slam dunk for us. You see our delegate, Rob Bell, is running for the job. He’s our favorite son and we’ll support all of the way to Richmond. His opponent is a state senator from the Shenandoah Valley. I’m sure that he’s a good man but Bell is our guy.

So as the convention draws closer, I expect that we’ll garner more attention. I don’t know about my wife but I can’t wait to get to Richmond and wear one of those silly hats.

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