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Back in the 2010 Summer Issue of

Virginia Capitol Connections,

I wrote

“Recent Virginia Governors-Presidential

Timber?” The time is ripe as an apple for an

update. Virginians did not get to hear “Hail

to the Chief”. Let’s take a look how those

seven years fared for our Virginia governors

and look ahead to their future political


George Allen

When U.S. Senator Jim Webb decided

not to run for re-election in 2012, Allen decided

to run for his old seat. He easily won the GOP

nomination with 65% of the vote against

Jamie Radtke (23%), Bob Marshall (7%),

and E. W. Jackson (5%). In November,

Democrat Tim Kaine defeated him with

52.86%-46.96% of the vote.

Allen continues to be a Reagan

Ranch Presidential Scholar and constantly

campaigns for GOP candidates throughout

the Commonwealth.

Jim Gilmore

Having run for president for his second

try in 2016 and being eliminated again

early in the delegate nomination process,

he anticipated a Clinton-Kaine victory

in 2016 and was ready to run for the

U. S. Senate in a Special Election

contest. But the Trump-Pence ticket

won and Gilmore had to change his


This year, he fell short by 733 votes

to be re-elected to the National Rifle

Association (NRA) Board of Directors.

Gilmore is President and CEO of the American Opportunity

Foundation that emphasizes conservative solutions that promises

real prosperity, national security, infrastructure transportation

projects, and traditional values. He is currently being considered for

a diplomatic position in the Trump Administration.

Mark Warner

In 2014, Democrat Mark Warner

won re-election to the U. S. Senate in

a lackluster campaign with 49.14%

of the vote against Republican Ed

Gillespie (48.33%) and Robert

Sarvis (2.43%).

Warner’s perceived weakness

was a failure on his part to include

more of President Obama’s voters who

re-elected him in 2012, especially in the

NOVA suburbs, where increased population growth has pushed the

Commonwealth into a purple battleground.

He has emerged as one of the Senate’s more-moderate Democrats.

He frequently voted against his party’s leadership including support

for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. During a 2014 party vote

for minority leader, he cast a ballot against Majority Leader Sen.

Harry Reid. Warner’s leadership interests concern military affairs,

intelligence and technology legislation.

Last year, he told The Wall Street Journal that his presidential

Highest Aspirations:

Virginians Hear

Hail to the Chief


By Michael E. Belefski

window is probably shut. But, as vice chairman of the U. S. Senate

Intelligence Committee, he currently holds a national spotlight to

investigate and obtain credible answers on Russia’s influence over

our 2016 presidential election which he said was taking up 100% of

his time.

Bob Mc Donnell

We left that summer talking about

Former Governor Bob McDonnell’s

Confederate history, gay rights and

voting felon controversies. A popular

governor with a 55%-32% approval

to disapproval rating at the end of his

term, he was known for being a hard-

working executive who advocated job

creation and funding for transportation and

infrastructure improvements.

In 2012, he was being considered asVEEP on the GOP ticket and

extensively toured the country on behalf of the Romney-Ryan ticket.

When he left office, he and his wife, Maureen, were indicted on

honest services fraud and the Federal Hobbs Act extortion charges

related to their acceptance of more than $177,000 in loans, gifts,

and benefits from Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams while in the

governor’s office. The jury convicted Governor McDonnell.

McDonnell became the first Virginia governor to be indicted or

convicted of a felony. He was sentenced in 2015 to a two year prison

term and additional supervised release and was free on bond during

an appeals process.

In 2016, The U. S. Supreme Court unanimously vacated his

conviction and remanded the case back to a lower court. The U. S.

Justice Department later announced that they would not prosecute the

case again and moved to dismiss the charges.

Today, he is a distinguished professor at Regent University’s

Robertson School of Government and will assist establishing

the Governor’s Center for Federalism and Civility. He started a

consulting business, began teaching at the Regent University School

of Law, rejoined his law firm, and works as a consultant for business

development and real estate projects.

At a recent speech at Virginia’s American Legion Boys State,

he joked that he may ask people to help him pay his legal bills that

amount to more than $10 million, although, in a recent e-mail from The

Restoration Fund, he has a staggering $27 million to pay in legal bills.

Tim Kaine

Kaine came closest in a century in

Virginia’s quest for one of the top spots

on the national political scene.

He was just leaving the governor’s

office in 2010 and was halfway

through his term as Chair of the

Democratic National Committee. He

beat George Allen in his quest of a

U. S. Senate seat in 2012.

Recognizing that Kaine was born in

Minnesota, raised in Kansas, University

of Missouri graduate, Richmond councilman

and mayor, Lieutenant Governor, Governor, Roman Catholic, fluent

in Spanish and an ability to give speeches for hours without notes,

Hillary Clinton announced on July 22, 2016 that she selected him

to be her vice presidential running mate and was nominated at the

Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

The Clinton-Kaine ticket lost in the Electoral College, but the

Commonwealth was the only southern state won by the Democratic