Commonwealth of Virginia

In the open race to serve as Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, political operative Ed Gillespie (R) faces Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam (D-VA). One minor candidate, Cliff Hyra (L), will also be on the ballot. The Constitution of Virginia prohibits governors from serving multiple consecutive terms, so incumbent Governor Terry McAuliffe (D-VA) is ineligible for reelection.

The office of governor is established by the Constitution of Virginia, and the office holder’s primary duty is to serve as the chief of the commonwealth’s executive branch of government. The governor must report on the state of the commonwealth to the General Assembly, convene the legislature when a special session is called, ensure that state laws are executed properly, and serve as commander-in-chief of the state militia. Additionally, governors have the power to submit recommendations to the General Assembly, veto bills (in whole or in part with a line-item veto), commute fines and issue pardons, and restore voting rights to convicted felons.

Virginia governors must be at least thirty years old, citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and have been a resident and registered voter in the commonwealth for five years preceding the date of the election. They are elected to four-year terms and there are no term limits, although governors are prohibited from serving consecutive terms. Virginia is the only state in the United States that does not allow governors to stand for reelection and serve consecutive terms. . . . Continued

Commonwealth of Virginia

In the open race to serve as the Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, lawyer and businessman Justin Fairfax (D) faces Senator Jill Vogel (R-VA 27th). Incumbent Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam (D-VA) is not seeking reelection (he stands as the Democratic nominee for governor).

The office of lieutenant governor is established by the Constitution of Virginia, and the office holder’s primary duty is to serve as the president of the Senate of Virginia. The lieutenant governor may vote in the senate only to break ties. In addition, the lieutenant governor is first in the line of gubernatorial succession, and would become governor in the event of the governor’s death, resignation, or removal. Because Virginia governors may only serve one consecutive term, the office of lieutenant governor often serves as a “stepping stone” toward the governor’s mansion.

Virginia lieutenant governors must be at least thirty years old, citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and have been a resident and registered voter in the commonwealth for five years preceding the date of the election. They are elected to four-year terms and there are no term limits.

The Senate of Virginia is made up of senators elected from forty districts across the commonwealth. The Republican Party holds a narrow majority with twenty-one seats. The Democratic Party holds nineteen seats. . . . Continued

Commonwealth of Virginia

In the race to serve as the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Virginia, incumbent Attorney General Mark Herring (D-VA) faces-off against lawyer John Adams (R).

The attorney general has a constitutional responsibility to provide legal advice to the state government, including the governor and the General Assembly, to defend the state in lawsuits, and to defend the constitutionality of state laws. The attorney general is also second in the line of gubernatorial succession, following the lieutenant governor.

Traditionally, the attorney general’s office is used as a political stepping-stone for higher office and campaigns for the office often become inappropriately politicized. In considering the Off on a Tangent endorsement, I only consider issues that are germane to the role of the attorney general—mainly legal competence.

Virginia attorney generals must be at least thirty years old, citizens of the United States, and hold the qualifications to be a “judge of court record.” They are elected to four-year terms and there are no term limits. . . . Continued

Commonwealth of Virginia

In the race to represent the eighty-seventh district in the Virginia House of Delegates, one-term incumbent Delegate John Bell (D-VA 87th) is challenged by local real-estate businessman Subba Kolla (R).

The Virginia House of Delegates is the oldest legislative body in the Americas, having been established (as the House of Burgesses) in 1619. Delegates must be at least twenty-one years old and residents of the district they wish to represent, and they are elected to two-year terms with no term limits. There are one hundred districts across the commonwealth. Today, the Republican Party holds an overwhelming sixty-six seat majority, and the Democratic Party holds thirty-four seats.

The house’s eighty-seventh district includes much of the eastern border area of Loudoun County and a small portion of northern Prince William County. Communities in the eighty-seventh district include Antioch, Arcola, Dulles, South Riding, and parts of Ashburn, Broadlands, Cascades, and Sterling.

. . . Continued

Loudoun County

Article VII, Section 10, of the Constitution of Virginia requires local governments to obtain voter approval to issue bonds. Voters in Loudoun County, Virginia, will be asked to consider two bond referendums on this year’s ballot.

Bonds are debt. When they are sold, the issuing government receives an influx of cash from the purchasers. But, like a bank loan, that money must be repaid over time with interest.

Like any other loan, bonds should only be used when necessary. Most projects should be funded directly from the general fund (i.e., from the “money in the bank”). Only when a particular project is very important, but too large to fund directly, should we turn to using bonds for financing. . . . Continued