June 2, 2013
A statewide primary next week will decide whether Aneesh Chopra or Sen. Ralph Northam of Norfolk secures the democratic nomination for Virginia's lieutenant governor.
Chopra, who served as secretary of technology under Tim Kaine and was appointed the nation's first chief technology officer, was in Charlottesville Sunday for a campaign stop at C'ville Coffee, vying for his shot at the state's second-highest office.
"The choices Virginia will make over the next four years will have impact over the next 40," said Chopra. "I couldn't sit this one out."
Chopra met with supporters alongside former 5th district congressman Tom Perriello. The democratic primary will determine who joins Terry McAuliffe on the party's ticket, but Perriello thinks Chopra is the man for the job.
"You're talking about a very important position, not just as something that could affect and help the top of the ticket but a position that could have real impact on people's lives," said Perriello.
While Chopra and Northam have a few days left to state their case, the GOP ticket is set. Republicans have chosen E.W. Jackson as their candidate for lieutenant governor.
No matter McAuliffe's pairing, some are already considering Virginia's gubernatorial race the one to watch in 2013. Both parties are expected to have very polarizing candidates.
"Sometimes governor's races don't get as much attention, but they have enormous impact on our schools, on our business climate and so many things -- our basic rights -- that are important to folks," said Perriello.
Perriello says the position of lieutenant governor has never been more important than it is now. An even split in the senate means the lieutenant governor casts the tie-breaking vote.
Chopra wants to be the one to hold that power, saying he can lead Virginia by using innovation and entrepreneurship.
"We have talents all across Virginia. We've just got to tap into that talent to come together to solve these big challenges, and I intend to do that," said Chopra.
We will soon find out of Chopra or Northam will join Jackson in being one step closer to holding that power in about a week. Virginia's democratic primary will be held on June 11.