I’m leaning towards Mike Signer for LG.

I went into this lieutenant governor’s nomination contest a supporter of Jody Wagner. But now I’m not so sure. Wagner hasn’t done anything to lose me, she’s run a fine campaign, and I like what she’s had to say. There’s really nothing I don’t like about her. Despite that, I’m impressed by Mike Signer and his campaign. (I interviewed Signer four years ago, when he was thinking about running for state senate.) I’ve seen both of them speak, and I thought Signer performed much better. I’m with Signer on the issues, and I think he does really well one-on-one.

There’s a lot to like about both candidates, and I’d be happy with either nominee. If I were voting today, I think I’d vote for Mike Signer, but I can’t put my finger on why.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

9 replies on “I’m leaning towards Mike Signer for LG.”

  1. Mike’s a good guy, and a smart guy. I worked with him some during Wes Clark’s 2004 run for the presidential nomination. I’m a little disappointed that his (major) role in the Clark campaign is excised from his campaign biography, but I guess understandably a candidate underplays his past support of someone who didn’t win.

  2. Here’s why I’m supporting Signer. Basically, it comes down to the fact that Wagner is running on her experience whereas Signer is running on issues and message. Wagner may be able to make a more convincing case, but given how much money is going to be invested in the top of the ticket (and on targeted House of Delegate races (of which I hope local candidate Cynthia Neff is one)), if the Democrat for LG is going to win, he/she must have a message that can break through and resonate. I think Signer has that message, and will therefore be the stronger candidate in the general election.

  3. C’mon in, Waldo, the water’s fine! Glad to have you! ; )

    I agree with the first four comments. All right on.

    I’m voting for Signer because I’m pro Signer. I’m certainly not opposed to Jody, and I’d support her if she won the primary. But I got a taste of what it’s like to be really enthusiastic about a candidate when I was supporting Obama and Perriello, and I am that enthusiastic about Mike Signer now.

    Mike is smart, capable, charismatic but also totally authentic and true. He listens, he is respectful, he’s honest and forthright – he tells it like he sees it. He knows that some folks are not going to agree with him, but he’ll be straight up with you about his positions, and he respects your choice to support him or not, depending on how your calculus works out with all the various issues at stake. That’s what Obama does too, and Perriello. That’s why I like them so much. That’s why I like Mike Signer, too.

    One of the main things I’ve been hearing supporters saying that they like about Wagner is that she’s a woman. I have nothing against Jody Wagner, she seems like a fine, upstanding person. As a feminist, I appreciate how great it is to see women running for office, and I get that people want to support a viable (heck, even a frontrunner) female candidate for office. However, if Marj Signer had given birth to another daughter 36 years ago instead of a son, and if that hypothetical daughter were just like Mike in every way, would that daughter be a stronger candidate for LG today by sheer reason of her two X chromosomes? Nope. I mean, sure, if there really were two equally strong candidates and if one were a woman or a person of color or LGBT or disabled, would I want to take that opportunity to elect a leader who was something other than yet another white male? Sure, yes. But that’s an impossible hypothetical, and the thing I do know for sure is that I would never want to pass up the BETTER candidate, for the one I’m LESS impressed by/enthusiastic about/happy with, just because the better candidate’s a guy and the ‘okay I guess’ candidate’s a woman. I vote for the person, not the plumbing.

    As a feminist antiracism advocate, I refuse to discriminate against Mike because he’s a white male.

    So, the Jody’s A Woman argument just doesn’t really hold water with me. Same goes for the It’s Her Turn argument. I heard that kind of reasoning in the last primary from some of my friends who were for Hillary for President. It didn’t win me over then, and it’s not winning me over now. I understand the emotions behind that argument, but it’s not going to sway me from the best candidate. Jody can run for something else next time. So could Mike, sure, that’s true – but I’m not going to vote for Jody just because she’s been running for LG for two years, or because she’s been anointed by state party grand poobahs as the rightful next in line for LG or whatever.

    I’m going to think for myself, and choose for myself, and by all of my estimations, Mike is the superior candidate for all the reasons mentioned. I’ve heard them both speak, and I was far more impressed by Mike Signer. I also know him (I met him when he was running his exploratory campaign for Creigh Deeds’s seat in 2005, and he connected me with Left of Center, which he cofounded back then). I know that what you see is what you get.

    No, it’s nothing against Jody. But I’m tired of just blandly voting for someone who is “okay, I guess.” I want to hear progressive ideas and see a viable plan for putting those ideas into action. I want to see real leadership, not just diligent management. I want both, that is – and Mike’s both.

    I like Mike’s vision of how Virginia can be a better place for working people, for families, for great employers – for all of us. Let’s elect this guy, okay?

  4. I also met Mike Signer about 4 years ago. It was at an invitational gathering for innovative leaders from around the US. So there were plenty of really smart, capable folks about, including a few from Virginia. (Since we weren’t discussing carburetor technology, I’m not sure why I was there).

    What struck me about Mike was that he had a clear command of what public service is about and how government should work. He’s the real deal and probably the smartest guy in Virginia politics. No joke. I remember begging him to run for office. Virginia is lucky to have this young man step up to serve. Give him a close look. He’s in the next generation of Democratic leadership.

  5. I find it’s easier to talk about Democratic candidates today and I would expect it’s easier for them to run today.

    Back in 2000, I was shocked that a relatively unknown non-military female candidate was challenging the Rs in VA-02. I was more shocked when she almost won. It took until ’08 to win that seat back, but you better believe that Jody’s run when running as a Democrat here wasn’t very popular laid a lot of the groundwork for our success.

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