Aneesh Chopra leaving the White House, likely to run for Virginia lieutenant governor


Coverage Type: reporting
Location:
The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC, 20500, United States

Aneesh Chopra, tapped to serve as the first White House chief technology officer, is stepping down and is widely expected to announce that he will run for lieutenant governor in Virginia, according to Democrats familiar with his plan, but not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

Chopra, who has kept his home in Richmond, has flirted with running for statewide office in Virginia for years, building up support among Democratic activists and serving on President Obama’s transition team in 2008. The timing of his resignation allows Chopra to campaign this year for his two former bosses — former governor Tim Kaine (D), who is running to replace retiring Sen. James Webb (D-VA) this year — and Obama, who will face a tough fight in the swing state of Virginia. He is expected to attend Virginia Democrats’ biggest fundraiser of the year, the Jefferson-Jackson dinner, Feb. 11 in Richmond, where those who are looking to run statewide host parties and mingle with more than 1,500 activists.

In a statement released by the White House shortly before the news of his planned campaign surfaced, President Obama said Chopra “did groundbreaking work to bring our government into the 21st century. Aneesh found countless ways to engage the American people using technology, from electronic health records for veterans, to expanding access to broadband for rural communities, to modernizing government records. His legacy of leadership and innovation will benefit Americans for years to come, and I thank him for his outstanding service.”

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