I got up bright and early yesterday morning to head down to the Shad Planking in Wakefield yesterday. There was a lot of worry about the weather forecast calling for rain, but for the most part it held off. For those of us who were dealing with signs before and after the event, there was an occasional shower but it held off for the most part during the actual event. At the same time, it wasn't exactly the warmest weather either and by the time I rolled into the Virginia Diner with some other Democratic activists I was looking forward to a hot meal to help warm up before the trip back to Northern Virginia.
Lowell has posted a number of posts over at Blue Virginia from the event last night including some videos so I would encourage folks to check out what he has, but I also wanted to take a moment to add some of my thoughts to the situation. There was no doubt that among all of the candidates from both parties, Terry McAuliffe had the largest number of signs around the site and for at least 20 miles leading up to the event space. As far as the rest of the campaigns go, however, I'm pleased to say that many people have pointed out that Jon Bowerbank most definitely had a good showing. Even though the Lt. Governor candidates didn't give speeches, Jon spent several hours talking to the crowd, had plenty of staff and volunteers present, and had thousands upon thousands of signs up.... including some on an excavator in the parking lot.
Based upon conversations I had with people in the crowd, people are beginning to pay a little more attention to the Lt. Governor's race as the Democratic primary is coming up on June 9. A lot of people still had questions about the various candidates, however, so they were very excited about the fact that Jon was taking the time to actually talk with people in attendance. Several people who saw that I was wearing a Bowerbank t-shirt came up to me simply to say they've been impressed with the work that he's done in Southwest Virginia and that they'll be supporting him for Lt. Governor. I also saw several people who took off stickers for some of the other LG candidates to put on a Bowerbank sticker after they heard about his candidacy and what he will work towards if he's elected.
In addition to the various candidates and elected officials in attendance, one of the big categories of people I recognized were some fellow bloggers who attended the event. While I know there were others who were in attendance, I was able to speak with Lowell Feld from Blue Virginia, Kenton Ngo from New Dominion, Arjun Jaikumar from Daily Kos, Vivian Paige and a few others. A lot of people were around taking photos and conducting interviews, but you can check out some of the photos I took while at the event.