Dem leader jumps on Cuccinelli gubernatorial run
“Ken Cuccinelli’s impending gubernatorial announcement is further proof that his political career is about one thing and one thing only: Ken Cuccinelli. Instead of fighting everyday for Virginia families, he has used his taxpayer-funded office to prove to the Tea Party that no one is more radically out of touch with middle class Virginians than he is,” Democratic Party of Virginia Chairman Brian Moran said today.
Published reports have Cuccinelli, the sitting state attorney general, planning an announcement regarding his plans to run for governor for next week. The move would set off a contested nomination battle between Cuccinelli and Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, who sidestepped a similar possible tete-a-tete with then-Attorney General Bob McDonnell in advance of the 2009 state elections.
The gentlemen’s agreement between McDonnell and Bolling helped the GOP roll to landslide wins in all three statewide races in 2009. The last time there was a gubernatorial-nomination battle between two sitting state officeholders was in 2001, when then-Attorney General Mark Earley defeated then-Lt. Gov. John Hager for the GOP nomination before losing in the general election to Democrat Mark Warner.
Cuccinelli has made a name for himself in the Republican base for his controversial attacks on climate-change science and the 2010 federal health-care reform. As popular as he has proven to be among GOP voters, Cuccinelli has been just as unpopular with Democrats, who are eager to use his controversial stands against him.
“Should he break his promise to run for re-election and beat Bill Bolling in a primary, Ken Cuccinelli will offer Virginia Democrats a real opportunity to expose the Republican Party for what it is, and to offer a clear alternative. While Cuccinelli and the Republicans would rather pick fights with Washington and curry favor with the Tea Party than fight for middle class families, Democrats are focused on creating jobs and opportunity by improving education, fixing transportation and investing in clean energy,” Moran said.