The Associated Press has compiled a handy timeline of key events during the first six months of Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s administration. McDonnell was sworn in as governor on Jan. 16:
Nov. 3, 2009: McDonnell gets nearly 59 percent of the vote over Democrat R. Creigh Deeds, becoming the first Republican elected governor in eight years.
Dec. 3: McDonnell makes key cabinet appointments, including Martin Kent as chief of staff; Marla Decker as public safety secretary; Eric Finkbeiner as chief policy adviser; and notably retains Finance Secretary Ric Brown from Democrat Tim Kaine’s cabinet to cope with severe budget problems.
Dec. 22: McDonnell appoints Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sean Connaughton to take over as transportation secretary.
Jan. 16, 2010: McDonnell is sworn in as 71st governor of Virginia. Lifts wife, Maureen, into his arms and carries her through the Executive Mansion front door for the first time as governor.
Jan. 18: In his first State of the Commonwealth speech, McDonnell promises not to permit new taxes despite a record budget shortfall.
Jan. 20: Carrying out a McDonnell pledge, the Commonwealth Transportation Board votes to reopen interstate highway rest areas Kaine had ordered closed as part of budget cuts.
Jan. 25: McDonnell outlines $50 million in new spending to recruit new jobs to Virginia.
Jan. 28-29: McDonnell declares a state of emergency, his first as governor, as snowstorms bring Virginia to a standstill.
Feb. 3-7: A second major winter storm leaves parts of Virginia under as much as three feet of snow as McDonnell faces his second natural disaster in two weeks.
March 7: McDonnell issues an executive directive warning state college officials that they face punishment, including being fired, for condoning anti-gay bias after Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli advised college administrators that they have no authority to prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation.
April 6: McDonnell proclaims April as Confederate History Month for the first time in eight years, but the decree makes no mention of slavery.
April 7: McDonnell apologizes for omitting mention of slavery from Confederate History Month proclamation and adds a paragraph to his original decree calling slavery “an evil and inhumane practice.”
April 26: Giant defense and government services contractor Northrop Grumman chooses Virginia as new home for its corporate headquarters.
June 14: McDonnell administration announces that despite a $1.8 billion shortfall as recently as January, the state budget will yield a surplus when the fiscal year ends June 30.
July 14: McDonnell announces the surplus will total at least $220 million, guaranteeing a one-time 3 percent pay bonus to state employees.