Three people are running to be the Republican Party of Virginia’s nominee for Governor of Virginia.

Ed Gillespie

What is Ed Gillespie’s virtue as a candidate? He seems safe. He may not solve any problems, but he also gives the impression he won’t create any new ones. He will just allow the old problems to quietly fester and molder.

That assessment of Gillespie is dubious.  Remember TARP, that bailout President George W. Bush initiated. Bush spent $350 billion of it.  The transcript of the January 18, 2009 STATE OF THE UNION WITH JOHN KING provides an example of how Gillespie defended it. Here is an excerpt.

KING: But can you cite specific evidence that the first $350 billion has done anything to begin the turnaround?

GILLESPIE: You can, John. And in fact, if you look at the rates that have narrowed in terms of credit markets, the TED spreads and LIBOR, things, frankly, I didn’t know that much about until about six months ago, they were very — the spreads were high. And that’s not good for the credit markets.

The injection that the Treasury has put into the capital markets has helped ease those. Again, this is a difficult time. But the president said the other night, I believe rightly, that had we not acted boldly and had we not put this money into the financial markets, we would have seen a lot worse of a financial strain on the American people today than what we’re already witnessing.

So what if we do elect Gillespie? First up on Gillespie’s agenda is the standard Republican tax cut. Check out the video below, Ed Gillespie.

What is wrong with the idea? Well, nothing except that what drives taxes up is spending. It is easy to call for a tax cut, but what spending is he going to cut?

What are the other major items in Gillespie’s plan?

  • He promises to make government honest. While that sounds good, there is little Gillespie can do. We have to solve that problem by electing honest people.
  • He promises to make government efficient.  That is, he will lay off the employees we don’t need and pay those we do need more.  How? With committees and good management best practices.
  • He promises to create jobs by encouraging small business by reducing the regulatory burden.

What is obvious when we look at Gillespie’s web site? The most controversial things you can find on it are the observations: Gillespie is a Republican, and he wants a tax cut. Well, that is not quite it. We do have to look for it (here), but Gillespie does admit to being pro-life.

Essentially, Gillespie is running on charm.  He earnestly presents himself as a nice, supposedly competent, fellow.

Corey Stewart

Stewart is the kind of politician who makes you want to pull your hair out.  Hence he has every elected Republican in Prince William County endorsing his main opponent, Ed Gillespie.  That said, Stewart is willing to take a stand. Gillespie isn’t. Stewart has a record as an elected public official.  Gillespie doesn’t have that sort of record. Gillespie has served as an appointed public official, but that just means he helped to implement policies set by other people. So which man can we trust to do a better job, Stewart or Gillespie? Since Gillespie doesn’t have a record and avoids even taking a stand, in spite of his frustrating antics (Republican supervisor criticizes Corey Stewart’s defense of the Confederate flag and Developer donations boost Corey Stewart campaign) Stewart might be the better choice. Whereas one man has been known to be inconstant, the other is nowhere to be found.

How has Stewart taken a stand? Here are some of the controversial issues where Stewart has spoken up.

  • He will protect Virginia’s Civil War monuments.
  • He has fought illegal immigration.
  • He will protect our Second Amendment rights.
  • He is unapologetically pro-life.
  • He will protect the coal industry from unreasonable regulations.
  • He is in favor of school choice.

So what video is Stewart putting front and center? Check out Corey Stewart.

Frank W. Wagner

Frank Wagner is a Senator in the General Assembly. So he has a voting record on quite a few issues relevant to the governance of our state (See The Family Foundation  report cards on the Virginia General Assembly.). Similarly, the Richmond Sunlight has data on Wagner. Click on the following link: Senator Frank Wagner (R-Virginia Beach).

In spite of the fact his record makes him a known quantity, the Priorities Wagner lists on his website are relatively uncontroversial. He is in favor of:

  • Keeping the cost of a college education down by making the tax payers cover a larger proportion of the bill.
  • Fighting burdensome regulations, whatever those might be.
  • Jobs. That is more government spending on technical training.
  • Constructing Interstate 73 (VDOT info) and the CoalFields Expressway.

Here is Wagner’s latest video. It is a defense of gun rights. Check out Frank Wagner for Governor.

If you are happy with Virginia as it is, Wagner would probably be a decent choice. Since Gillespie doesn’t have a record, it makes more sense to trust Wagner. Virginia is constitutionally required to balance its budget. Therefore, to implement a tax cut, there must be spending cuts, and Gillespie doesn’t have a plan for that (Frank Wagner gets his moment).

Links To Some Of The Debates

Other Reviews

Who is donating money to these candidates? Here is the data from Virginia Public Access Project.

The news media is going after the election theatrics, and Stewart, by trying to out-Trump President Trump, is providing theatrics. So some of stories are headline grabbers.

Here are reports from Ballotpedia.

Who Am I Voting For?

I am still trying to decide.

  • Gillespie does not strike me as safe as he would like us to believe. The bailout at the end of the Bush administration was a disaster, and he was in the middle of it.
  • Stewart has done an adequate job in Prince William County, but he is obviously ambitious. Too ambitious? Perhaps. Has he done anything truly wrong? Maybe not, but none of the Republicans on the Board of Supervisors is willing to support him. These people work with him.
  • Wagner strikes me as the most sincere, as somebody who just wants to do a good job. However, the assessment is he cannot win. You have to wonder how people reached that conclusion.


  1. Thank you for putting this out. There has not been a lot of TV / radio campaign ads for the governor seat in my neck of the woods. And the campaign flyers I have gotten were all from one candidate.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not a citizen of Virginia so I’ve not heard of these guys.. but, based only on your review here I’d go for Wagner.
    Stewart sounds way too much like Trump.
    What bothers me is when politicians proclaim they will defend the 2nd Amendment.. when we have ten of them (if you are only working with the Bill of Rights). But I guess owning a gun and dreaming you can actually defend your family with it or tear down government when you feel offended is more important the other amendments.


    1. The Second Amendment has a constituency. Not all the amendments in the Bill of Rights do, and that is what is unfortunate.

      That is actually a good subject for a post. Why are some of the Bill of Rights protected and others neglected?

      Wagner is a Republican, but he has a problem seeing government as a problem when it is a problem. Of the three, however, I expect he is the most the most transparent.

      Gillespie is a public relations guy. He might actually do a halfway decent job, but there is no way of knowing.

      Stewart is modelling himself mainly on one aspect of Trump’s character. Stewart seems to have been possessed by the idea that being perceived as a fighter is what it takes to win. What is funny is that Trump kicked him of his campaign team, and Stewart did not get the message. He is overdoing it.

      Liked by 1 person

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