Moran addresses run at governor nomination

Story by Chris Graham
newdominion@ntelos.net

Look at the 2009 Democratic Party gubernatorial race one way, and it looks an awful lot like the 2008 Democratic Party presidential race.

You’ve got two candidates in both who are perceived as being basically dead-even right now who you have to assume will fight to the death for the nomination while the Republicans appear to be solidly unified behind a single standardbearer.

Substitute Creigh Deeds and Brian Moran for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and Bob McDonnell for John McCain, and you’re ready to go.

Moran, for his part, doesn’t think the analogy is as apt as I do.

“I think it’s a positive development, because it reflects the recognition that Republican leaders realize that Democrats have been offering solutions for Virginia,” Moran said in an interview for today’s “New Dominion Show.”
“There’s been Democratic leaders in the form of Mark Warner and Tim Kaine who have been providing solutions for Virginia that have resonated throughout the Commonwealth – investments in education, investments in preschool, investments in economic development, job creation. And people have been responding to that and supporting Democrats. Virginia is changing. If you offer that type of results-oriented leadership, people will support you,” Moran said.
“I think it’s a reflection of the extreme tendencies of some of my Republican colleagues. They are realizing that that is not where Virginia’s moving, that is not the direction for Virginia’s future, and they’re having to consolidate their candidacies, and cannot suffer through the consequences of an intraparty fight. So I think it’s a fairly positive outcome. I think it just bodes well for Democrats, that we are indeed the party of leadership, the party of results, the party of solutions,” Moran said.

Certainly another way to look at things, anyway.

Moran formed an exploratory committee in advance of an anticipated run for the party nod in January. He said today that he will likely be making a formal announcement about his plans for the gubernatorial nomination in the next few weeks.

In the meantime, he’s getting out and about to meet and greet Democrats across the state. He will be in my backyard this weekend, headlining a local Democratic Party fund-raiser in Staunton Sunday evening.

The busy travel schedule does more than get Moran out in front of the party faithful.

“I’ve had the opportunity as a leader in the House of Delegates, serving as the chair of the House Democratic Caucus, to travel Virginia extensively for six years now, recruiting candidates, meeting with community leaders throughout Virginia. And that experience has provided me with the opportunity to meet people and to learn and understand issues, and not just Northern Virginia issues, but what it means for job development in Southwest Virginia, and how important it is to develop Route 58 in Southside Virginia. There’s any number of issues that are important to the Commonwealth, and I’ve been able to gather that information,” Moran said.
“And because of those travels, I’ve been encouraged to run for statewide office. The response has been very positive. I’m certainly taking a look at it, and will consider it with my family and friends. But the response uniformly has been a very positive response, and very encouraging,” Moran said.

Moran enters the General Assembly offseason on a bit of a hot streak. He scored perhaps his most significant legislative accomplishment earlier this month with his successful push to get the General Assembly to agree to $1.5 million in funding for local law-enforcement agencies to step up efforts to combat child pornography and child sexual predation with the passage of a law known as Alicia’s Law.

“I worked diligently throughout the session to obtain funds to combat online child pornography and sexual predators. And ultimately, it took ’til the last day of the session, but we were successful. We were able to obtain $1.5 million. This will build capacity for our law-enforcement agencies who are working to investigate and arrest these sexual predators,” Moran said.

Moran knew going in that Alicia’s Law would be a tough sell because of the state’s deepening budget crisis.

“Because of the shortfall, from the very beginning we were not funding any new programs. The legislators on the money committees said we could not fund any new programs, don’t bother bringing them before us. We were trying to meet current needs without making draconian cuts to vital services like public safety and public education. And so it was tough going. But I said this is a program which really will result in tangible results, results which will protect our kids,” Moran said.
“Online child pornography is expanding exponentially. Every time that you introduce the computer into the household, you’re availing your children to the world, which is a wonderful thing. But you’re also providing access to the world to your children. And it is estimated that one in five children who use the Internet regularly receive a sexual solicitation,” Moran said.
“I ultimately convinced my colleagues that this was not something that we could delay, that we needed to address this, we needed to build capacity, we needed to provide our law enforcement with the tools to investigate, ultimately arrest and convict, these predators,” Moran said.

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