Former Democratic candidate lieutenant governor candidate Mike Signer says he does not plan to run for the state senate seat that will be vacated with the retirement of Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple (D-Arlington). He had previously said he also has no plans to run for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Sen. Jim Webb (D).
The Arlington lawyer and former counsel to then-governor Mark Warner (D) says he plans to instead spend time nurturing the New Dominion Project, a political action committee and Web site he launched two weeks ago.
“Democratic activists have recently asked me to consider open seats in the Commonwealth,” Signer said in a statement. “While these requests have been flattering, recent developments in Richmond have only crystallized for me the need to focus on this crucial work in the coming months.”
In an interview, Signer describes New Dominion Project as a “combination of journalism and advocacy,” whose goal will be to highlight stories of ordinary Virginians whose lives demonstrate, as he puts it, “how much better Democratic policies are.”
“There’s a totally different Virginia out there, whose story is not being told,” he said.
The site now includes an interview with an Arlington man who runs a regional anti-gang program in Northern Virginia and the former mayor of Charlottesville, who works for a company building energy efficient cars.
Signer said a political action committee was the easiest way to structure the organization, rather than as a not-for-profit and that it’s main emphasis will be on creating a new blog and Internet presence to add to left-leaning voices that now occupy the Virginia blogosphere.
But he said that, like a standard political action committee, the project will also raise money and contribute to likeminded candidates.
And he did not rule out using it as a springboard for a future run for office--he talks frequently about using the site to combat the agenda of Atty. Gen. Ken Cuccinelli (R), leading many to assume he plans a run against the state’s controversial top lawyer in 2013.
“Right now, I’m focused on trying to have an impact wherever I can,” Singer said. But he added that impact could include a run for an elected office in the future. “I’ll consider it,” he said.
Other candidates who have not ruled out running for Whipple’s seat include: Del. Patrick Hope (D-Arlington), Del. Bob Brink (D-Arlington) and Arlington County Board member Barbara Favola (D).