Chris Graham: Impact of Bill Bolling’s departure from the 2013 race

Two-term Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling is set to announce that he will not seek the 2013 Republican Party gubernatorial nomination. Time to examine the impacts of that anticipated move on the Virginia political scene.

Bill Bolling: His political career comes to an end in 2014 at the end of his second term as lieutenant governor. Bolling is not prohibited by state law from seeking a third term, but he won’t seek a third term. The LG job is a part-time job; it’s time for Bolling to move on with his life, and a few years working as a lobbyist will do well for his net worth after eight years of making do on a part-time salary.

Ken Cuccinelli: As expected, he will be the 2013 GOP gubernatorial nominee. And he gets there without having a knockdown, drag-out fight as we saw in 2001, when the Republican lieutenant governor, John Hager, and attorney general, Mark Earley, duked it out, with Earley winning the battle and losing the war, with a divided party faltering in the fall, paving the way for the ascension of Democrats Mark Warner and Tim Kaine.

Terry McAuliffe: Would have loved for Bolling and Cuccinelli to have slashed each other for months on end before the inevitable Cuccinelli nomination. Now he has to hope to be able to avoid the fate of Creigh Deeds, who went into the fall 2009 campaign as a slight favorite in his race with Bob McDonnell before getting trounced in the November election. It helps McAuliffe that he isn’t likely to face any nomination fight himself, meaning the focus can be clearly on November. Can it also help that his team now knows for certain that the target will be Cuccinelli? Maybe so.



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