Sides appear set in Virginia’s 2013 gubernatorial contest

by Quinton Sheppard - Posted on Jan 02, 2013 - 12:41 PM

With Virginia’s gubernatorial race quickly heating up in advance of the November 2013 election, several candidates have already announced their intentions on running for the office, while one likely candidate quietly stepped aside.

Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, thought to be one of the Republican frontrunners, announced in late November that he would not be seeking the nomination, avoiding a possible convention fight with Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who announced his intention to seek the office of governor in late 2011.

Photo: Ken Cuccinelli

Ken Cuccinelli

Though there has been some speculation as to whether Bolling will run as an independent in the race for governor, he has made no official announcement.

In early 2008, Bolling and then-Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell agreed on a move where Bolling would run for re-election as lieutenant governor to allow McDonnell to run unopposed for governor in 2009. In return, McDonnell would support Bolling for governor in 2013.

Photo: Terry McAuliffe

Terry McAuliffe

McDonnell went on to win the race to become the Virginia’s 71st governor. Due to term limits established by the Virginia Constitution, McDonnell is unable to run for an immediate, successive term.

In a press release issued shortly after withdrawing his candidacy, Bolling said it was a very difficult decision for him to make. "Four years ago, I decided to set my personal ambition to be governor aside and join with Bob McDonnell to create a united Republican ticket," Bolling said. "I had hoped that Attorney General Cuccinelli and I would be able to form that same kind of united Republican ticket in 2013."