Former Virginia Secretary of Technology Aneesh Chopra is visiting Roanoke tomorrow, presumably to meet and greet some locals who may support his planned run for lieutenant governor next year.
But the Star City may have a potential candidate of its own for that particular office: Mayor David Bowers.
Bowers said that he’s been getting calls from “longtime friends of mine in the Democratic Party from other parts of the state” asking him to throw his hat in the ring.
“I knew it was getting around a little bit,” Bowers said when asked about rumors he may run. “Let me say that I’ve had friends from other parts of Virginia call me and suggest that I should run. My reaction is, who, what, when, where and why?
“The who is me. The what is lieutenant governor. When is next year. Where, I said, where? North Dakota?”
He’s being facetious about North Dakota, of course. But Bowers continued:
“When it came to the why, their reasons for suggesting it were two fold: First of all I’m one of the longest serving elected Democrats in western Virginia along with [Roanoke Commonwealth's Attorney] Don Caldwell and Jack Kennedy, the clerk down in Wise County. And secondly as the Democratic ticket’s developing, it appears to be a northern Virginia ticket, and so they were suggesting that maybe the ticket needs some geographic balance to it.”
Remember, Del. Onzlee Ware, D-Roanoke, suggested two years ago that he might run for statewide office. (We also posted a discussion thread on Ware’s chances.) But in May, Ware said he’d all but abandoned that idea and will most likely run instead for re-election to his seat in the House of Delegates.
Bowers said he’s not yet decided whether to run for lieutenant governor. But he’s giving it some thought.
“I would say no decision has been made,” he said. “I’m certainly waiting until the presidential race. That’s the first thing, probably. I would say I have had every intention of remaining in the mayor’s office. But others have brought it to my attention and asked me to think about it.”
So what do you think? How does Bowers stack up against Chopra, who under President Barack Obama was the first American Federal Chief Technology Officer of the United States? Does the Democratic statewide ticket for 2013 need more geographic diversity?
– Mason Adams