First came the television ad. Now comes the statewide tour.
Gov. Bob McDonnell and his cabinet officers will hot the road next week for a tour that the administration is billing “Virginia: Growing Strong.” The governor’s office says the week-long series visits from McDonnell and members of his administration will highlight private-sector job growth and legislative successes from the recent General Assembly session.
McDonnell’s schedule includes a Monday visit to Martinsville, where he will cut the ribbon for the new ICF International operations center.
This tour comes on the heels of a television advertising campaign bankrolled by McDonnell’s political action committee, Opportunity Virginia. Since McDonnell can’t run for re-election — and since his name keeps circulating as a potential GOP vice presidential contender — the timing of the ad was curious.
Here’s what McDonnell had to say today about the upcoming tour:
“While difficult economic times are not completely behind us, and Virginia will continue to face challenges on the road to recovery, the Commonwealth is showing significant signs that it is growing strong again. Our 5.6 percent unemployment rate is the lowest in over three years, the lowest in the southeast, and it has fallen by 23 percent since we took office. Our new biennial budget puts historic new resources into higher education, over half a billion in new funding into our K-12 system, and stabilizes our retirement system for the years ahead. And we did this without raising taxes.
“We are making government live within its means, and be more efficient and effective. Agricultural exports are setting records, buoyed by breakthroughs like direct cattle shipments to Canada and soybean exports to China. Businesses continue to choose Virginia as the best place to grow and expand, while Pollina and CNBC recognize Virginia as the best place in the country in which to do business. These are Virginia successes. They are the result of Virginians coming together across party and regional lines to get things done and get results. We are celebrating that. My cabinet and I will be crisscrossing the state to thank Virginians for their great work through tough times, and to hear directly from them what we can do in Richmond to keep Virginia growing strong in the years ahead.”
Members of McDonnell’s cabinet will be in the Roanoke and New River valleys during the week, including Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, the administration’s chief jobs creation officer. Bolling will speak at the Roanoke Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau luncheon on Wednesday at Hotel Roanoke, and he’ll return to the same site the following evening with Secretary of Technology Jim Duffey for the Roanoke Blacksburg Technology Council awards banquet.
– Michael Sluss