By Govenor Bob McDonnell (R-VA)
December 9, 2012
On Election Day, Republicans lost the presidential campaign, two seats in the United States Senate and several seats in the House of Representatives. One bright spot nationally however, on a tough night, was that once again Republicans added to our ranks of governors. Thirty states will now have Republican chief executives, up from 22 just three years ago. That’s the most governorships held by one party since 2000. It’s 60 percent of the country.
Republicans have been adding governors since we won here in Virginia, and Chris Christie won in New Jersey, in 2009. We won five more seats in 2010, and this year Pat McCrory was elected governor in North Carolina, the largest state in play this cycle. No matter the political environment, voters keep electing more Republican governors, from deep blue northeastern states like Maine to bright red southern states like Alabama.
This is not happening just due to campaign skills, though I would argue there is not a political organization more effective recently than the Republican Governors Association. Instead, these victories for common-sense conservative governors are occurring because voters can see the real progress being made by Republican governors. Fiscally conservative policies work. Results get votes.
Voters this year were not solely dependent upon direct mail pieces and TV advertising for information about whom they should choose to serve as their next governor. They could look around the country and see what Republican leadership has meant to the citizens of those states.
In New Mexico, they saw that Gov. Susana Martinez eliminated a $500 million deficit and enacted a new school evaluation system that works for parents. Alabama has gained over 35,000 jobs since Gov. Robert Bentley took office. Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell’s policies generated at least $2.5 billion in surplus revenue.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott cut property taxes by $210 million and the state unemployment rate has dropped more than 2 full percentage points since he took office. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker also reduced property taxes, while eliminating a $3.6 billion deficit and seeing the state reach its lowest unemployment rate in three years.
In Idaho, Gov. Butch Otter’s leadership led to an upgrade of the state’s credit rating by Standard & Poor’s. In Indiana, Gov. Mitch Daniels made the Hoosier State a ‘Right to Work’ state, dramatically improving the state’s economic competitiveness.
Read the entire column here.
Bob McDonnell is the 71st governor of Virginia and served as chairman of the Republican Governors Association from 2011-2012.
Photo by Lynn R. Mitchell