Augusta Free Press

Report: Ken Cuccinelli rules out U.S. Senate run

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli will not run for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Democrat Mark Warner.

Cuccinelli broke the news in an unannounced speech at the Republican Advance in Hot Springs Saturday, according to a report in Politico.

“I don’t mind not having an elected role in about a month or so. I’ve been in office 11 years,” Cuccinelli said. “I look forward to a little bit of a break. … but I’ll be back with you. I’m not talking as a candidate, but just fighting for these principles because I believe in them.”

Cuccinelli, a Republican, lost in his bid to become governor in November to Democrat Terry McAuliffe.

Warner is a former governor finishing up his first six-year term representing Virginia in the U.S. Senate. With approval ratings for Warner near 60 percent, and Democrats, at the moment, in position to hold all five statewide offices, Republicans with any name recognition have been running from the 2014 Senate race rather than running toward it.

Cuccinelli joins outgoing Gov. Bob McDonnell among top-tier Virginia Republicans bowing out of a possible challenge to Warner next November.

Virginia Beach State Sen. Jeff McWaters and former Republican National Committee chair Ed Gillespie are considering getting into the race.