As with my post on Jody Wagner's visit to the area, I will refrain from endorsing any of the candidates for the time being, but I will say that I thought Signer was impressive, and I think he has some good ideas. I also found him to be an eloquent spokesman for progressive ideas, and that will not only help him in the primary, but it will also help our party if he gets the nomination.
His staff handed out a media folder containing a bio, press release, economic plan and legislative agenda. I thought the campaign lit was especially clever; it reminded me of the Perriello ads, and it offered a clear vision for the kind of LG Mike Signer wants to be. The front fold simply read, "Can you name 4 things a lieutenant governor does?" followed by four empty fill-in-the-blank slots. I don't think most people can, because I don't think there are four things in an LG's job description. Basically Signer wants to be an active LG who actually does something. He mentioned social justice campaigning and working with the legislature, as well as campaigning around the state for positive change. It's certainly a change from previous LG's we've had, and it would set him up as a killer 2013 gubernatorial candidate if he were to win.
Looking through his legislative agenda, I really like his idea for a "Come Home" Act that would offer reduced rates on student loans for college grads who go back to their hometowns to work. Something like that could have a real impact in a place like Martinsville, where the youth population has been leaving in droves. I also like the plan to link our Urban Crescent to rural communities in order to increase opportunity and produce economic growth in small towns.
The bottom line based on my interactions with Wagner and Signer is that I've been very impressed with both of them. I think both are highly qualified and both are more than able to take down Bill Bolling. It's going to be a tough decision, but I'm very optimistic about our choices.