New Virginia Governor Played To Suburbs In Win

Suburban voters in Virginia concerned with transportation and growth control may have swung the election to the Democrat Gov.-elect Timothy Kaine in the governor's race.

"Not since L. Douglas Wilder's historic run for governor in 1989 has a Democrat captured a majority of the vote for governor in Loudoun County. Democrats in Prince William County have been waiting even longer.

...Kaine reached out to voters in these rapidly growing outer communities who are accustomed to the dust and traffic that come with new homes. The Democratic candidate proposed new tools for local governments to slow growth if they found that traffic would overwhelm the roads.

"Kaine ran this commercial on a big ad buy that showed bulldozers and said: 'I hear you. I'm on your side with this,' " said Robert E. Lang, director of the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech."

Thanks to B. Pearl

Full Story: Newcomers Push Outer Suburbs Left

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Irvin Dawid's picture
Correspondent

Mixing of Growth/Transportation & Politics

A very interesting and most relevant article, 3 days after this off-year election.

+++"The Democratic candidate proposed new tools for local governments to slow growth if they found that traffic would overwhelm the roads."+++

I believe that Kaine is NOT a smart growth politician, just a smart politician who knows that the growth, transportation issue is important to Loudon County voters. When pols talk of growth rather than land use, that's a key, to me, that they are playing on the electorate's fears.

And linking 'growth' to traffic congestion rather than 'transportation choices' only reinforces my claim that this is not about smart growth, but rather 'slow growth'.

+++"To me, the growth issue and the roads issue are almost one and the same," said David Smith, 46, a resident of the precinct who voted for Kaine in part because of the issue. "They didn't plan for the growth here. The roads should have [been] built a long time ago. [If they keep building] you'll have a quagmire here, and it's really going to hurt the quality of life."+++

Irvin Dawid, Palo Alto, CA

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