We have a primary election here in a little over a week. I'll be working as an election official again. It promises to be a long day; the primary is only for one party - the Democrats - and as far as I know it's only for two offices - governor and lieutenant governor. If we're lucky, we might exceed the 65 total voters we had in an earlier primary. Since the polls are open for 13 hours (6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.), that's five voters per hour. I may take a couple of books, or at least a book and some knitting.
I will admit to knowing little about the candidates for lieutenant governor, not even their names. I should attempt to find out before the election, don't you think? In terms of the gubernatorial primary, I've been going back and forth between the three candidates for some time, but I think I've finally come to a decision. It's been an interesting process. I've been thinking almost as much about how I came to the decision as I did about the decision itself, but perhaps that's some of the baggage that comes with having a PhD in psychology.
One of the candidates, Brian Moran, was a total unknown to me until he announced his candidacy. Another, Terry McAuliffe, I knew of from his involvement in Hillary Clinton's campaign. The third, Creigh Deeds, has been my State Senator since 2001. He ran for Attorney General four years ago and lost by a mere 320 or so votes out of over a million cast. I've liked the way he's voted in the State Senate and have voted for him every time. My first reaction was that I'd back Deeds, but as time has passed I've considered and reconsidered. I just wasn't sure. I've given money to two of the candidates, Deeds and McAuliffe. Moran hasn't asked me for money, so I haven't given him any.
I've had each candidate's website bookmarked for some months, looking at various bits and pieces of each from time to time. A few days ago, I took one issue, education, and read what was on each website. Those of Moran and Deeds had a bit more detail to my mind than that of McAuliffe, and detail is good. I obviously want a Democratic candidate who can beat the Republican one. Terry McAuliffe brings with him a well-oiled political machine and lots of campaign donations. That may or may not serve him well in parts of the state, though, and his connection with Hillary will be used against him, I am sure, if he emerges as the candidate. Brian Moran hails from Northern Virginia, giving him strength in numbers, but that NoVa connection probably won't be seen as a positive in the more rural reaches of the state. Creigh Deeds will, I think, have a better chance in those rural areas, but will have to work to get known in NoVa and in Tidewater. And there's that statewide race he lost four years ago ... to Bob McDonnell, the person who will be the Republican nominee.
After many hours of pondering this--not obsessing over it but thinking about it while running or working out or doing mundane chores such as washing dishes--my decision came down to a very little thing that just sort of popped into my mind yesterday. Terry McAuliffe has pretty much done nothing since the start of the year but run for the Democratic nomination. Brian Moran resigned his seat in the General Assembly because he was prohibited from raising money while the Assembly was in session. (The Republican nominee also resigned from his post as Attorney General in order to concentrate on his campaign.) And Creigh Deeds? He kept his seat in the State Senate and worked through some hard budget issues in the legislative session. Did it hurt his campaign for the Democratic nomination? Probably, but it's what tipped the scale in his favor for me. Yes, he wants to be governor, but he also had a job to do as my representative, and he kept doing it. I like that; it speaks to his character. That's why I'll be voting for him when it's my turn to vote. When it came right down to it, Creigh Deeds cared about more than being governor; he cared about representing his constituents. And that's why I want him as my governor.