My campaign for Lieutenant Governor was born from a desire to be of greater service to the people of Virginia. That desire has not wavered. In fact, I have found that my service as a member of the Board of Supervisors in Russell County is extremely satisfying. I feel that my colleagues and I are really making a difference in the lives of the people we serve.
I firmly believe that my central campaign premise - increasing job creation for Virginia centralized through green/non-conventional energy and rebuilding our core infrastructure while we retool our educational systems - is as sound now as it was 18 months ago. In fact, it is probably even more critical as we are all unfortunately in the midst of a severe economic crisis not experienced since the Great Depression.
However I am responsible first and foremost to my family and my employees at EMATS and because of those responsibilities for the next 30 days and the next 6 months, I would no longer be able to devote my energies to this campaign full time. I believe Virginia and the Democratic Party need someone who can devote their full attention and energy to the job of being the Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor
I have, therefore, reached a decision to suspend my campaign and to throw my full and unqualified endorsement behind the candidacy of Jody Wagner. I have gotten to know Jody well on the campaign trail and believe she would be a great nominee and a great Lieutenant Governor.
I have also come to know Mike Signer, and I wish him well now and in the future. My decision to endorse Jody is not a negative reflection on him.
I care deeply about Virginia and I fear that to continue this campaign at this time would simply cause tumult and acrimony and give aid and comfort to those who stand in the way of the process. I want to be part of a unified Democratic Party now and in the future, and I believe my decision is in the best interest of the party.
I want to personally thank those who have been so supportive of me. My Congressman, Rick Boucher, was an early and enthusiastic supporter as were former Congresswoman Leslie Byrne, State Senators Chap Petersen and Phillip Puckett and Delegates Dan Bowling, Bud Phillips, Lionel Spruill, and Joe Johnson. I also wish to thank the 100+ elected and party officials that have endorsed my candidacy. I especially want to thank my family for the sacrifices they made as I traveled across the state and I look forward to spending more time with them.
I am very grateful to my staff; they have worked hard for me and I have said many times that I have the hardest working campaign and we were positioned well. I hope they will all work as hard for our nominee as they have worked for me.
I have also made a decision to return political contributions to those who have supported my campaign. I will instruct my staff in the coming days to prepare checks to refund those contributions.
Now simply wasn't my time. I resolutely believe, however, that my time will come. In the future I intend to again offer myself for public service. When that time comes I will be prepared to run and to serve.
Today is the two year anniversary of the death of my hero ... my father ... Tom Bowerbank. He and I shared a great admiration of Winston Churchill. My father taught me this quote of Winston Churchill's. "Never give in! Never give in! Never, never, never, never - in nothing great and small - large and petty - never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense."
I believe my decision to give in on this campaign is based on honour and good sense and, in that respect, I hope this would have made Winston, and my father, proud."