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The Right Note: Gillespie for Governor

by Mark Kelly October 19, 2017 at 3:00 pm 0

The Right Note is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

It has not been a good week for Ralph Northam.

First, The Washington Post editorial board excoriated Northam for his failure to articulate a plan for K-12 education. The Post said, “Mr. Northam claimed to believe in accountability but was utterly unable to explain what he means by the word.”

The Post went on to note that Northam was unable to state what he would replace SOL standards after calling for them to be tossed out: “Astonishingly, after almost four years as lieutenant governor and a month away from the election, Mr. Northam had no answer.”

The lack of substance is not an unprecedented issue for Northam. Just last month, he was knocked in the media for failing to produce a tax plan despite promising one for months.

Then yesterday the Northam campaign had to explain why Justin Fairfax was left off a campaign flyer that contained the other two members of the ticket. According to The Washington Post, Fairfax said, This should not have happened, and it should not happen again, and there needs to be robust investment in making sure that we are communicating with African American voters and we are engaging our base.”

That Northam is having trouble with his base and with one of the core issues Democrats rely on — education — are not good signs for his campaign.

Even more troubling is that Northam seems to have little message to offer the average voter at all. His latest campaign ad running in our area spends most of its time trying to tie Ed Gillespie to President Trump. Being a Democrat may be enough for the party faithful, but expecting fair-minded voters to give you their vote just because you are not a member of President Trump’s party is a dangerous, if not insulting, campaign message.

Voters still care most about what Virginia’s economy will look like moving forward. The central question for this election is, will Virginia’s economic policies look like the ones in states which are growing or look like the ones in states that are states which are flagging? And who has put forward real plans to make sure that happens?

Ed Gillespie has spent months talking about getting Virginia’s economy growing again, with tax and regulatory policies that make sense for new and existing businesses to provide good jobs with higher wages.

Ed has also demonstrated a commitment to other policies that are critically important to the overall strength of Virginia. Ed introduced detailed policies on education, transportation, healthcare, public safety and energy. And to help rebuild trust in our government in Richmond, Ed released detailed proposals on government reform and ethics.

No doubt, Ralph Northam wants to be governor. But he has never quite been able to articulate why he should be, at least not to someone outside of his political base.

Ed Gillespie is a better choice for governor because he has put forward clear, specific and detailed proposals on issues across the spectrum aimed at making Virginia a better place to live, work and raise and family. At the very least, take a look at all of his specific plans for yourself, and then decide.

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