They gathered together Tuesday night in Richmond.
Virginia’s nine living governors told old stories, boasted about their legacies and poked fun at each other. And they joked about why there are so many of them: Virginia is the only state where governors can’t succeed themselves.
Linwood Holton led what he called a “parade of has-beens” that included Charles S. Robb, Gerald Baliles, L. Douglas Wilder, George Allen, James S. Gilmore III, Mark R. Warner, Timothy M. Kaine and the current governor — not quite a has-been — Robert F. McDonnell.
The Governors Gala event, sponsored by the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership, took place in front of an audience of hundreds — a who’s who of the state’s political community.
The elite group of governors is comprised of five Democrats and four Republicans, including rivals in one of the nation’s most high-profile Senate races this year: Allen and Kaine, who used their turn at the podium to give what sounded a bit like stump speeches.
The list also includes the nation’s first elected black governor, three U.S. senators, two possible vice presidential candidates and several who wanted to be president. (Doesn’t every governor?)
See how well you know the nine living men who’ve led Virginia since 1970 — take our quiz: