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Build on the great legacy

EDITOR’S NOTE: With the Democratic gubernatorial primary set for Tuesday across the commonwealth, the Suffolk News-Herald gave the three Democratic contenders the opportunity to introduce themselves through a personal column to the newspaper’s readers across Suffolk and online. The rules were simple: Keep it within 600 words, plus a 100-word biography, and get it in by 5 p.m. Thursday. Two candidates — Terry McAuliffe and Brian Moran — responded before the deadline with the columns that appear on this page today. Campaign officials for Creigh Deeds, the third candidate in the primary race, had agreed to participate, but then failed to follow through with a column in time for publication. The column still had not appeared in our e-mail inbox by midnight Friday. The McAuliffe and Moran pieces appear here in alphabetical order.

Across the commonwealth, folks are worried about jobs, about our energy future, about the quality of their children’s education and the value of their homes. Our next governor is still going to have some serious economic challenges to address, and that’s why I’m running for governor: I believe I have the right experience and the best vision to get our economy moving again.

For nearly 20 years, Virginia’s been my home. My wife, Dorothy, and I are raising five children, and I want to make sure Virginia continues to be a great place for them to find opportunities when they’re adults. That’s what I want for all of Virginia’s families.

Virginians know that the next few years are going to be tough, and they want Virginia’s next governor to build on the great legacy of Mark Warner and Tim Kaine — governors who brought business and executive experience to Richmond, but who also know that not every good idea comes out of the legislature in Richmond. Virginians want another governor who knows that it’s not about politics; it’s about results.

I started my first business when I was 14, paving driveways so I could pay for college. Since then, I’ve built successful companies and helped turn around struggling ones — learning firsthand what it takes to create good jobs and balance a budget.

I believe that in government, just like in business, you need a plan to succeed. I’ve unveiled my business plan, a detailed plan with strategies to move Virginia forward and bring jobs back to the commonwealth. It is a roadmap to making Virginia a leader in the green economy, making Virginia a more attractive place for businesses with the most future growth potential and supporting our existing businesses, making sure our families can afford the necessities of a good life, investing in human capital so that Virginia families can hold good jobs with good wages and good benefits and improving our state’s transportation infrastructure.

Each chapter addresses a different strategy we must pursue in building Virginia’s economy, but my Business Plan was developed as a whole, and it recognizes that these issues and strategies all must work together to add value and create jobs in Virginia.

As governor, I’ll make it my job to protect your job, to grow the economy, and to make Virginia a leader in renewable energy. I’ll focus on long-term transportation solutions, and work to give our children the best education so they have a chance to pursue the American dream right here in Virginia.

I’m the only candidate in this race who has created thousands of jobs. I’m the only candidate who brings the same kind of business and executive leadership that Mark Warner and Tim Kaine brought to the job. And I’m the only candidate who hasn’t been part of the partisan bickering in Richmond.

But this campaign isn’t about me. It’s about you. That’s why we’ve built a grassroots campaign to get more people invested in our efforts for the future. That’s why we need more like-minded people in the House of Delegates to help us get things done.

I’m proud that our campaign has signed up over 5,000 volunteers and opened 14 field offices across the commonwealth. Because at the end of the day, I want a campaign and an administration that includes people from across Virginia.

Working together has never been more important. I’d be honored to get started with your vote for me on June 9th.