Change Address

VOTE411 Voter Guide

Virginia Governor

The Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia serves as the chief executive of the Commonwealth of Virginia for a four-year term. The Virginia Governor cannot serve two consecutive terms. The Governor appoints cabinet members who serve as advisors and administrators of several state agencies. The Governor presents a budget proposal to the General Assembly. Legislators recommend changes in Virginia law for the Governor's analysis and action in favor or opposition.
  • Candidate picture

    Edward W. "Ed" Gillespie (Rep) Business owner

  • Candidate picture

    Clifford D. Hyra (L) Lawyer

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    Ralph S. Northam (Dem) Lieutenant Governor and Pediatrician

Change Candidates

Biographical Information

What changes in the process of redistricting would you support and why? (400 characters)

How would you promote healthcare coverage that is adequate, affordable and accessible for all Virginians? (400 characters)

Explain your top three priorities if elected? (500 characters)

What would you support, such as new or changed regulations, for improving and preserving our environment, such as air and water quality, land preservation, mitigation of recurrent flooding, etc.? (500 characters)

How confident are you that the current requirements for financial disclosure and reporting by candidates and elected officials meet the standards for ethics and transparency? What changes, if any, do you support?

Experience Ed Gillespie is a business owner and a longtime conservative leader. The son of an Irish immigrant, he grew up working in his parents’ grocery store. Ed started his career as a Senate parking lot attendant and eventually worked his way up to become Counselor to President George W. Bush. He is a former Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia and the Republican National Committee.
Candidate has not yet responded.
A healthy Virginia is vital for our economy to grow and prosper. The cost of Virginia's healthcare safety net programs are rising rapidly. Ed will work to reduce healthcare costs and make sure patients are in charge of healthcare decisions.
It's time for a plan to get Virginia growing again with across-the-board policy reforms that cover taxes, regulation, education, transportation, healthcare and public safety. Ed has and will continue to put forward a serious and substantive vision for Virginia to create jobs, raise take-home pay and help people lift themselves out of poverty. This includes,"Cutting Taxes for ALL Virginians", "FAITH in our Government", and his "Effectiveness + Efficiency Government for ALL Virginians" Plan.
Ed will work to protect our environment, champion agriculture -- Virginia's first industry -- and redouble efforts to expand exports and open new markets for Virginia products. He will work to expand the production of safe, reliable and affordable energy in the Commonwealth, including the development of oil and natural gas reserves off our deep sea coast and stopping the regulatory assault on our coal sector.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Phone (804) 823-7979
education B.S. Aerospace Engineering, magna cum laude, Virginia Tech J.D., magna cum laude, George Mason University School of Law
Experience Lifelong Virginia resident, father of four, small business owner and law firm partner
We should establish an independent redistricting commission with non-partisan criteria, to remove the conflict of interest that politicians have when they draw their own districts. The commission should be given specific criteria to use for drawing the maps, that prohibit them from using political data and make voting districts fair, keep communities together, and avoid rigging elections.
Repeal the Certificate of Public Need laws that prevent the opening of new medical facilities, to stimulate competition between health providers. Give more power to nurse practitioners, physician's assistants and mid-level dental providers to fill in for doctors and dentists, especially in rural areas where healthcare providers are scarce. Repeal restrictive mandates for health insurance coverage.
First, give Virginians meaningful tax reform, eliminating the state income tax on the first $60,000 of household income to provide $3,000 in tax relief for the average Virginia family each year. Second, reform our draconian drug laws and criminal justice system, ensuring those struggling with substance abuse receive the help they need instead of incarceration and a criminal record. Third, eliminate absurd occupational licensing requirements and burdensome business regulations and taxes.
I support more competition in the electric power sector to make room for independent power producers and solar co-ops, and incentives for investment in a smart electric grid that is capable of handling the intermittent power generation of wind and solar. I also support land use reform to encourage smart growth and walkable, mixed-use development. Incentives to local government, developers and property owners should be aligned with respect to environmental impacts of new development.
Current financial disclosure requirements in Virginia are pretty good. Information relating to donors and expenditures are readily available to the public. I do not support restrictions to freedom of speech, including political speech, so strong disclosure rules are essential. One related change we should make is to forbid politicians from using campaign donations for their own personal use.
Phone (804) 592-1106
education I’m a proud graduate of public schools on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. I went to VMI and served as an Army doctor during the Gulf War.
Experience I'm a lawmaker & doctor, & for 18 years I’ve served as the volunteer medical director at a kid’s hospice, seeing some of the toughest people I have ever met. Now, more than ever, Virginian needs a governor who will make sure every Virginian has economic opportunity, no matter who they are or where they live. That will always be my number one priority.
One of the first bills I signed onto in 2008 was redistricting reform, and I have fought for it for a decade. One of my first acts in legislative session will be to send down a bill to create a nonpartisan redistricting commission. I will also veto any redistricting bill that is not the product of a bipartisan or non-partisan redistricting commission.
With the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association reaffirming its proposal to cover the state’s portion of Medicaid expansion, we have a funding mechanism. Both the medical community and the public favor passing it. Let’s bring the GOP to the table to get this done. No matter what DC does, I will fight to cover those with pre-existing conditions and ensure access to reproductive health care.
We need to push back against reckless policies coming out of Washington, especially on the economy and healthcare. Just as importantly, the folks I hear from around Virginia want a good job that they can support their family with. To do that, we have to continue expanding the circle of opportunity for Virginians who need access to affordable and quality health care, who want their children to have access to a world class education system and who want to raise their families in safe communities.
As a Chesapeake Bay native, I’ll defend Virginia from offshore drilling and cuts to Bay cleanup funds. I’ll retool the Department of Environmental Quality to protect our natural resources and hold polluters accountable, and I’ll invest in clean energy to reduce our impact on climate change and create new, high paying jobs. I’ll also create an environmental justice task force to address threats in vulnerable communities, in areas like energy infrastructure siting, air quality and drinking water
As governor, I’ll fight for disclosure from all outside groups that seek to influence Virginia’s elections. There is bipartisan support for these reforms –Montana just enacted a similar bipartisan measure. There has been interest from the Republican side of the aisle in Virginia as well. Virginia’s gubernatorial elections are always awash with dark money. This year will probably see even more. logo


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