Your AdviceFebruary 28, 2013 /  BY admin
In the next two weeks I have to make a very difficult decision. I have to decide whether or not to seek the office of Governor as an Independent Republican. Because you are a friend and trusted ally, I am writing to ask for your advice as I make this difficult decision.
When I suspended my campaign for the Republican Party’s nomination for Governor I indicated that I wanted to be a more independent voice for Virginia, speaking out more objectively on the important issues facing our state. Over the past several months, I have done just that. I have sought to call us to a higher purpose, focusing more on policy and less on politics; and more on the next generation than the next election.
The reaction to this more mainstream approach to governing has been amazing. Over the past few months I have been contacted by business and community leaders from all across Virginia and encouraged to re-enter the race for Governor as an Independent Republican, and I have been objectively assessing that possibility.
Let me assure you that I have not entered into these deliberations lightly. I have been a loyal Republican for the past 25 years. No one has done more or sacrificed more for the Republican Party than I have. But quite frankly, this is a challenging time for our party and I’m concerned that our party is headed in the wrong direction. That’s why there has been so much interest in an Independent Republican campaign.
It is clear to me that there is a great deal of uneasiness about the candidates the two major political parties appear poised to nominate, and a lot of people in our state are looking for a better option. The people of Virginia want a Governor who will provide mainstream leadership, keep his focus on the big issues facing our state and work with Republicans and Democrats to solve problems and get things done.
Throughout my 22 years of public service I have developed a record of doing just that, and as Governor I will keep my focus on the issues that matter most to our state – continuing the progress we have made in growing our economy and creating jobs and providing more opportunity for our citizens by improving education and addressing other important issues like transportation, public safety and health care.
I think there is an opportunity to make history in Virginia this year. We can send a message about the need to return more civility and a more mainstream approach to politics and governing. I know it won’t be easy to win the governorship as an Independent candidate, but with your help I believe it can be done.
Everywhere I have traveled over the past few months I have been encouraged by friends, some former foes and even strangers on the street to run for Governor. People are tired of politics as usual. They know we can do better and they want a more mainstream choice.
And the polls also suggest that there is a great deal of interest in a credible, mainstream, Independent candidate for Governor. Here is the link to a Memorandum from our pollster, John McLaughlin, that summarizes some of the key findings of our internal polling. I think you will agree after reading John’s Memorandum that with the proper resources this is a race that can be won.
Two things are clear to me: 1) there is a realistic opportunity in this campaign for a credible Independent candidate, and 2) I can run a credible Independent campaign that can draw strong support from Republicans, Democrats and Independents.
However, I know how difficult independent campaigns can be, and I know I cannot win without the support of the people who have stood with me over the years – people like you. That’s why I’m writing to ask for your advice as I make this difficult decision. Here’s what I need to know:
First, I need to know if you believe that there is a realistic opening in this campaign for a credible Independent candidate, or, are you satisfied with the choice between Mr. Cuccinelli and Mr. McAuliffe?
Second, I need to know if I can count on your support if I decide to run for Governor as an Independent Republican?
You can share your thoughts with me here.
I hope you will respond today and give me the benefit of your advice. You are a trusted friend and ally and your feedback would mean a great deal to me.
It has been a privilege to represent the people of Virginia in state and local government for the past 22 years. During that time I have done my best to stand strong for the conservative values we believe in, while working with Republicans and Democrats alike to things done in Richmond. I think that’s the kind of leadership we need from our next Governor, and with your help that’s the kind of leadership I will continue to provide.
Thanks again for your friendship, confidence and support.