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BREAKING NEWS: Bolling won't run for governor
Nominating convention posed obstacles, he says
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS -
RICHMOND — Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling said Wednesday that he will not run for governor in 2013, citing the state party’s decision to choose its nominees through a convention instead of a statewide primary.
Bolling’s decision leaves the Republican gubernatorial race wide open for Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. The convention nominating method favors the more conservative Cuccinelli.
“For the past several months my campaign team has worked hard to restructure our campaign to effectively compete in the convention process. While we have made a great deal of progress, I reluctantly concluded that the decision to change the method of nomination from a primary to a convention created too many obstacles for us to overcome,” Bolling said in a statement.
He said he also was concerned that deep divisions in the party could be created by a prolonged campaign between Cuccinelli and him.
“The convention process would have forced Republican activists to take sides against their friends in local committees all across our state. The wounds that can develop from that type of process are often difficult to heal,” Bolling said.
Bolling and Gov. Bob McDonnell had both asked the GOP central committee to stick with an October decision to hold a primary next spring rather than a convention.
“Conventions are by their very nature exclusive, and at a time when we need to be projecting a positive image and reaching out to involve more Virginians in the Republican Party, I am unwilling to be part of a process that could seriously damage our image and appeal,” Bolling said in Wednesday’s statement.
Supporters of the convention argued that Republicans nominated in conventions fare better in fall elections. Conventions also prevent outsiders from meddling in Republican nominations in a state where primaries are open to all voters, and they don’t saddle taxpayers with election costs.
Bolling said he and his wife, Jean Ann, plan to evaluate their future political options.
“I can tell you this, I intend to remain actively involved in the 2013 campaigns - perhaps not as the Republican nominee for governor, but as a more independent voice, making certain that the candidates keep their focus on the important issues facing our state and offer a positive and realistic vision for effectively and responsibly leading Virginia,” he said.
See this site and Thursday's Martinsville Bulletin for more on this story.