There has been quite a bit of bandwith burned on the race for Lieutenant Governor in Virginia. Seven candidates have brought themselves forward. Looking at their records (or lack thereof in some cases), I have chosen Susan Stimpson.
Many of my friends have chosen differently, which does not surprise me (unanimity is rare in the rightosphere). Nor does it surprise me that the criticism other bloggers have aimed at Susan have avoided her record. After all, she is the only elected official running for a statewide Republican nomination who has never voted for a tax increase.
I would humbly submit that this is a more important gauge for a candidate than one’s proximity to Bill Howell in a photo or prior career. Lest anyone forget, when Susan had to choose between her relationship with Howell and her opposition to tax increases, she chose the latter, and emphatically – something that not every statewide candidate (*cough* Ken Cuccinelli *cough*) was willing to do.
In short, her record in office has revealed someone determined to reduce both government spending and the tax burden on her constituents. Forgive the repetition, but it bears repeating; Susan Stimpson is the only elected official running for a statewide Republican nomination who has never voted for a tax increase.
I remember bumping into Susan a few times in 2009. She struck me as a nice woman, earnest, dedicated, and likely to follow the mold of the Stafford Republican clique. I had no idea she would be asking my advice on the Stafford budget, let alone follow it to the letter (I told her if she thought spending could be cut and taxes reduced further than was being presented, she should push for it – which is exactly what she did). I certainly didn’t expect she would use her seat on the VRE board to demand an audit of the organization. As one who remembers how MSM used to portray Republicans who drifted leftward as having “grown in office,” i can happily say Susan has “shrunk” in hers.
For these reasons, I support Susan for the LG nomination. Any Republican running would be superior to the Democrats’ crop of candidates, but Susan is the best on the Republican side.