…that he will not run for Governor in 2013 tomorrow. That leaves only Tareq Salahi (provided he meets filing requirements) as the only opponent to Ken Cuccinelli for the Republican nomination for Governor. The RPV Advance will become one big Cuccinelli victory party.
Bolling has been polling way behind Cuccinelli, usually by about 30 - 40 points in most polls I’ve heard and with an enthusiasm gap this large going into a convention his path to victory was beyond difficult. Bolling is a good guy who has done a fine job as Lieutenant Governor, it’s just that the Republican base loves Cuccinelli. Really loves him.
Given the timing of this announcement it is still possible that Bolling could announce he will run for re-election as Lieutenant Governor once again, and so far neither my sources nor any reporting indicates that is going to happen. It would seem unlikely Bolling would choose this path, as the downsides of once again pulling back from a nomination contest after it became clear there was no path to victory could be significant. A simple exit would probably best preserve Bolling’s political opportunities in the future.
With the expected disappearance of a Governor’s race during May’s Republican Convention that would have certainly drawn a very heavy conservative crowd, campaigns for Attorney General and Lieutenant Governor are going to be recalibrating a bit. While Cuccinelli wasn’t supporting any of the candidates for these positions while he had his own race for the nomination to focus on, it’s possible he may decide to rest his thumb on the scales of the convention a bit in order to ensure he’s running with a ticket he likes.
Meanwhile, the news has Democrats deeply perplexed. With an open field to run in, Cuccinelli has just become a stronger, better financed candidate in the general election, and plenty of Democrats aren’t that thrilled with the prospect of Terry McAuliffe being their nominee. Not Larry Sabato seems to be starting a campaign to draft former Congressman Tom Periello to challenge T-Mac in the upcoming Democratic Party primary, which would be a fascinating matchup if he got the nod.
The next few weeks are going to be pretty interesting as this all sorts out. One thing I know for sure is that Bolling’s hospitality suite at the Advance is not going to be the biggest party in Virginia Beach this weekend.
UPDATE: The mainstream media has picked up on this, but so far only the Washington Post recognized that we had the story first.
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