First, there's leadership from a strict financial disciplinarian like Governor Bob McDonnell who has proven that raising taxes is not always the route to increased revenue.
Second, the working relationship between McDonnell and Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, with an emphasis on economic development and job growth, has created a win-win situation for the citizens of Virginia. The proof is in the latest kudos from Business Facilities magazine.
The faith of Virginia's citizens that their hard-earned tax dollars are in the hands of good stewards is evident in the continued high approval rating for McDonnell. He has caught the attention of those at the national level who are watching the workings of his administration.
Will Bill Bolling benefit when the 2013 elections roll around?
Business Facilities Magazine cited Virginia and Louisiana at the top of their 2011 list for Economic Growth Potential. Their words about Virginia were particularly encouraging:
Virginia has parlayed its close proximity to Washington, DC—a natural magnet for government contractors—into a powerhouse push to make the Commonwealth a prime location for corporate headquarters, including Northrop Grumman and ITT's Defense & Information Solutions unit.McDonnell has his critics but it's difficult to argue with success, and the fact that Virginia is being noticed at the national level is evident by the recent #1 ranking by CNBC as the best state in America for business.
In one of his first acts after he became the state’s chief executive last year, Gov. Bob McDonnell issued an executive order creating a state Economic Development and Jobs Creation Commission as part of his mission to improve the state's business climate.
Virginia also has launched the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM), a unique collaborative research facility in Prince George County, VA, that promises to accelerate the transfer of laboratory innovations to manufacturing production lines where they can improve efficiencies, products and profits.
"Virginia has staked a claim as a national center for advanced manufacturing," said Business Facilities Editor-in-Chief Jack Rogers. "The CCAM will be a job-growth engine for years to come."
By McDonnell's side since the beginning of his administration has been the lieutenant governor which begs the question: would a continued leadership in Virginia by a Governor Bill Bolling make the Old Dominion as successful after McDonnell's term? Would the national magnifying glass hover over a Bolling administration and see a continuation of the current progress of job growth and business success?
A candidate for governor in the upcoming 2013 election, Bolling has traveled the Commonwealth as McDonnell's Chief Jobs Creation Officer since early in 2010, heightening his profile and strengthening ties with the business community, and working to encourage growth in the economy so that Virginia remains a top business-friendly state.
Bolling, 54, has another ace up his sleeve. His reputation for being an avid fly fisherman continues to grow, offering the possibility of a Governor Bolling promoting Virginia in yet another arena that could bring huge financial gains. The past year he has become more public about his favorite past-time, Facebooking about fishing trips in the Commonwealth and West Virginia.
Bolling, who has redefined and expanded the office of lieutenant governor in Virginia, most assuredly deserves more than the $36,000 salary he earns for the part-time position that has turned into a full-time job. If he is able to publicize his New Ideas for a Better Virginia while traveling the Commonwealth, stand on his solidly conservative voting record, and raise his profile with those Virginians who are unfamiliar with his name, could the Executive Mansion become home to Bill and Jean Ann Bolling in 2014?
Cross-posted at Bearing Drift