Aneesh Chopra, who served in Gov. Tim Kaine’s cabinet and went on to become the federal government’s chief technology officer, announced today that he will run for lieutenant governor in Virginia.
Chopra is the first Democrat to file for the office now held by Republican Bill Bolling. Bolling has served two terms as lieutenant governor and will run for governor next year.
Two Republicans — state Del. Scott Lingamfelter of Prince William County and Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart, have announced plans to run for lieutenant governor. State Sen. Steve Martin, R-Chesterfield County, has said he plans to enter the race.
Chopra, who will turn 40 on Friday, served as state secretary of technology from 2006 until 2009, when President Barack Obama appointed him as the first U.S. chief technology officer. Chopra left that post in February. He is a senior advisor with the Advisory Board Company, a global research, consulting, and technology firm.
Chopra also released a list of donors who contributed $511,000 to a non-state committee he established in April to explore a statewide bid, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. Chopra is transferring the balance — $466,717 — to the state committee he set up today. According to VPAP’s breakdown, much of the money is coming from donors in the information technology and venture capital sectors.
Here’s Chopra’s announcement statement:
“We live in a time of profound change. In our communities, our Commonwealth and our country, people are looking for pragmatic solutions that address our biggest problems, create opportunities and improve our lives.
Ideas matter. And so does action to make our economy work for everyone.
Since I left my position as U.S. Chief Technology Officer, friends, neighbors, business and community leaders have encouraged me to take action by running for statewide office. I’m humbled by their support and pleased to announce that today, after months of reflection, I enthusiastically filed my candidate qualification to seek the Democratic nomination for Lt. Governor in 2013.
As Virginia’s Secretary of Technology, I worked with communities across the Commonwealth to plant the seeds of new ideas to ensure all Virginians have the skills they need to compete in the 21st Century economy. We created hands-on high school technology training through Virginia STAR, accelerated efforts to prepare more people without a high school degree for jobs of the future through PluggedInVA, and harnessed the power of mobile technology to support great teaching through our Learning Without Boundaries initiative.
I remain excited about these efforts and the new opportunities we have to bring Virginians together to solve our biggest challenges in the years ahead. I am committed to seeding innovative ideas that support a quality workforce and educating Virginians throughout their lifetime to strengthen and maintain a state economy that is built to last.
Over the next several months, our Commonwealth and our country face important choices. I will work hard to help elect President Obama, Governor Tim Kaine, and our exceptional roster of Democratic Congressional candidates this November. In addition, in the days, weeks and months ahead, I look forward to continuing to listen to Virginians, hearing directly from them about the issues affecting their families and serving as an enthusiastic advocate on their behalf.”
– Michael Sluss