BY JIM NOLAN
Maybe Virginia’s unemployment rate really is too high. How else to explain the run on an open job in state government?
A part-time job.
Perhaps it’s an outgrowth of the Republican Party of Virginia’s decision to switch from a primary to a convention for nominating its 2013 statewide slate. Conventions are typically easier for candidates to navigate in terms of time and money.
Just take a look at the ever-expanding GOP field for Lieutenant Governor.
From Prince William, Del. Scott Lingamfelter and supervisor Corey Stewart. From Fairfax,former Sen. Jeannemarie Devolites-Davis, and just yesterday, Chesterfield Sen. Stephen Martin, chairman of the Senate education and Health committee that made headlines earlier this year with ultrasounds.
The Republican National Committee’s Virginia Victory Chairman Pete Snyder is also said to be mulling a run, but colleagues said he wouldn’t make a decision until after the November election.
Another name making the rounds is Virginia’s Chief Deputy Attorney General Chuck James, a former federal prosecutor with strong GOP family ties who recently announced he would be leaving the AG’s office in August to return to the Richmond super firm Williams Mullen.
Asked about the speculation that he is leaving to join the field of 2013 contenders, James replied:
“It’s been an honor to serve as the chief deputy for Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, but pursuing elected office is not in the cards for me right now.”
It’s not just Republicans who have a full house of candidates who want to be the LG.
Among those said to be considering a run are former Del. Paula Miller of Norfolk, Mike Signer, the Fairfax lawyer and former gubernatorial counsel to Gov. Mark Warner, former Spotsylvania state Sen. Edd Houck, and Aneesh Chopra, President Barack Obama’s Chief Technology Officer and Secretary of Technology under former Gov. Timothy M. Kaine.
Insiders say Chopra is amassing a substantial war chest to shock and awe the field once campaigning for the job gets underway.
By the way, the lieutenant governor’s job pays $36,321.