Expectations High as McDonnell Gets Sworn In

The 71st governor of Virginia faces delivering his campaign promises

View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    AP
    Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell, listens to Republican National Chairman Michael Steele, not pictured, during a rally in Richmond, Va., Friday, Oct. 30, 2009. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

    Republican Robert F. McDonnell inherits the Virginia gubernatorial position today -- and a $4 billion budget gap.

    Some say it was an easy campaign road ultimately leading to the swearing-in ceremony, scheduled for noon Saturday. McDonnell made pledges to be different by maintaining conservative values and solving the state’s problems in education and transportation without raising taxes.

    Bob McDonnell's First Day as Governor-elect

    [DC] Bob McDonnell's First Day as Governor-elect
    Republican Bob McDonnell held his first news conference as Virginia's governor-elect Wednesday after a decisive election day win, even winning more votes in Democratic-leaning Northern Virginia.

    Now it’s time for the 55-year-old to start checking off on the 200 promises he made before the November election, the Washington Post reports. Voters can even monitor his progress on Web site dedicated to tracking them down.

    Finding ways to create jobs and spurt the economy will be first on his agenda by working to reduce what he considers intrusive government regulations on business, McDonnell said this week. He will purse education reforms long endorsed by Republicans, and more recently by President Obama, and push immediately for the creation of more charter schools in Virginia.

    Not on the agenda, however, will be a key campaign promise that helped McDonnell win votes in Northern Virginia, an area that had been backing Democrats. He said this week that he will delay finding new money for the state’s clogged road network until after his first legislative session.

    “I realize I can’t do everything in the first 60 days,” McDonnell told the Post. But, he added, “I will do it in a methodical, effective way and build a consensus to get things done.”

    But he might have roadblocks from the opposing party. For the past eight years, the previous Democratic governors dealt with a Republican-led house. Party lines hindered the democratic agenda. Now the roles have switched. McDonnell is facing a Democrat-led state senate.

    And they are already saying "no."

    Democratic leaders are opposing McDonnell’s nominee for commerce secretary, Robert C. Sledd. They believe Sledd has a conflict of interest from his membership on three corporate boards. Democrats are promising to block his confirmation.