Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling Rules Out Run for Governor of Virginia
There was speculation that Bolling planned to run as independent.
Virginia Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R) announced Tuesday in an email to supporters that he has decided not to run for governor.
Speculation had grown recently that Bolling might run as an independent in the race. That would have made it a three-way race between Bolling, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and former DNC chair Terry McAuliffe.
Bolling decided not to go head to head with Cuccinelli after the Virginia Republican party decided it would choose its nominee in a state party convention rather than a primary. Cuccinelli, a social conservative, is popular among Virginia's conservative activists who are likely to attend the convention, the New York Times pointed out last fall when Bolling initially bowed out of the race.
Bolling sent an email to supporters, explaining his decision. The Washington Post ran part of that email Tuesday:
"The biggest challenge an Independent candidate faces is fundraising. You can have a winning message, but if you don’t have the resources to effectively communicate that message to voters you cannot win. . . . Based on my discussions with key donors over the past three weeks, I was confident I could raise enough money to run a competitive campaign, but I was not confident I could raise enough money to run a winning campaign.”
The Post also noted the Republican Lieutenant Governor's reluctance, in the email note, to sever ties with his political party: "While I still value public service a great deal, the truth is that I just don’t find the political process to be as enjoyable as I once did. Because of this, I decided that the time has come for me to step away from elected office and look for other ways to serve Virginia."
McAuliffe issued a statement Tuesday about Bolling's decision:
"Virginia owes Bill Bolling a debt of gratitude for his mainstream leadership, focus on job creation, and willingness to work with both parties to find solutions. I know he will continue to work hard for the Commonwealth’s future and look forward to hearing his ideas on how to make Virginia the best for business.
"I’m running for Governor because I believe that to create jobs and grow our economy, we need to focus on mainstream bipartisan solutions instead of divisive ideological fights. Just this past month, I was pleased to join Lieutenant Governor Bolling, Governor McDonnell and both parties in the legislature to support a mainstream compromise on transportation. Despite the efforts of a few on the far right to derail the compromise, we were able to come together and address a major economic issue for Virginia.
"As Bill Bolling wrote today, “Our priority should be on electing a Governor who has the ability to effectively and responsibly govern our state and provide the mainstream leadership we need to solve problems, get things done and make Virginia a better place to live.” I couldn’t agree more."