The Third Winning Governor: Haley Barbour

Virginia – Governor Elect – Bob McDonnell (R)

New Jersey – Governor Elect – Chris Christie (R)

Who was the third winning Republican Governor tonight? Mississippi’s own Haley Barbour, Chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association that had a clean sweep tonight. Just like his leadership in 1993 and 1994 when the Republicans took Congress, his leadership at the RGA shows his ability to play the kingmaker.

This was a note from the RGA tonight:

Republican Governors Association Chairman Governor Haley Barbour issued the following statement about the Republican Party sweeping the governors’ races in New Jersey and Virginia today:

“The RGA helped two great candidates secure historic victories for the GOP tonight. By wisely investing more than $13 million in television and radio ads, mail pieces and direct contributions, the RGA made a significant impact on the outcome of these races. These victories will give our Party momentum as we head into the 2010 elections.

When I was Republican Party chairman in the 1990’s, it was the governors who led our Party’s comeback, and I believe we jump-started that once again today. Republican victories in the 1993 New Jersey and Virginia governors’ races were the springboard for the 1994 Republican revolution. Tonight’s victories will have a similar impact.

Bob McDonnell and Chris Christie proved that voters everywhere are looking for leaders who focus on growing jobs, keeping taxes low, and strengthening the economy. They showed that by focusing on pocketbook issues Republicans can win anywhere in 2010.”

The Republican Governors Associated spent unprecedented sums on the New Jersey and Virginia races. The RGA invested more than $7 million in New Jersey and nearly $5.5 million in Virginia.

– The Washington Post called RGA’s Virginia ads “devastating.”

A Real Clear Politics headline declared: “With Christie spending limited, RGA to the rescue.”

Karl Rove wrote in The Wall Street Journal: “The Republican Governor’s Association has played what could be a decisive role in both states… In Virginia, the association tattooed Mr. Deeds as a tax raiser and slippery liberal. In New Jersey, they cut Mr. Daggett’s support in half by arguing a vote for him is a vote for Mr. Corzine.”

– MSNBC reported: “When all the votes are counted Tuesday, if Christie pulls it off, the RGA certainly deserves some credit.”

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