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Wagner Gears Up for LG Race; Kaine Names Successor

Anita Kumar

Jody W. Wagner, secretary of finance, may not have officially resigned to run for lieutenant governor yet but several people close to Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) say he has already picked her replacement.

Richard D. Brown, director of the Department of Planning and Budget, is expected to be named finance secretary after Wagner resigns next week to launch a bid for lieutenant governor in 2009.

Wagner said last week that she plans to consider her options while on vacation this week. But several people in the Kaine administration say she has already told the governor that she will resign.

Wagner and Brown are on vacation and could not be reached.

Delacey Skinner, a spokeswoman for Kaine, said Wagner has not submitted her resignation although there may have been some in-depth discussions about what would happen if she resigned. "I don't know that she's made a final decision,'' Skinner said.

Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R) plans to run for re-election. Wagner will face fellow Democrat Jon Bowerbank, a businessman and member of the Russell County Board of Supervisors, who is already running.

Wagner, who lost a bid for Congress in 2000, was the state treasurer under former governor Mark R. Warner (D) before starting her current job. She is from vote-rich Hampton Roads and would likely have the full backing of Kaine if she runs.

Bolling appears to be taking Wagner seriously, and his staff issued a statement on her possible candidacy today.

"As Lt. Governor, Bill Bolling has a record of offering positive solutions to the challenges facing Virginia,'' said Randy Marcus, Bolling's chief of staff. "While we certainly won't take anything for granted, we like our chance in a campaign against Ms. Wagner or any other tax and spend liberal."

By Anita Kumar  |  July 23, 2008; 2:22 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Bill Bolling , Election 2009 , Mark Warner  
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So Tim Kaine's financial policies have congealed into human form and are now running for lieutenant governor in 2009?

If Tim Kaine's poll numbers keep circling the drain, Ms. Wagner is going to find herself a loser once again.

Ps. The Dems had better hope that Ms. Wagner is better at keeping track of campaign donations than she was at managing Virginia's budget.

Posted by: Phantom08 | July 23, 2008 6:41 PM | Report abuse

I just can't believe that at a time when the economy is the top issue and families are coping with gas and grocery prices that Jody "I don't know why I can't get the budget right" Wagner thinks voters aren't going to notice that.

I also find it hard to agree with WaPo that Kaine will throw his full weight behind her. She typifies his $ problems. This is going to be a stain on his "legacy" - and one he may just try to distance himself from.

Posted by: Rob | July 24, 2008 12:46 AM | Report abuse

i heard george w. bush is going to run for lieutenant governor

Posted by: Anonymous | July 24, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

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