Legislators call on Cuccinelli to step down
A group of Democratic members of the Virginia General Assembly requested by leter on Friday that Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli resign his office in order to ensure that Virginians have a full-time attorney general as he ramps up his campaign for governor.
The previous six attorneys general have all resigned in advance of their campaigns, recognizing that the demands of the office are too great to meet while campaigning for higher office.
Virginia Democratic House Caucus
1710 E Franklin St.
Richmond, VA, 23223
The Honorable Ken Cuccinelli
Office of the Attorney General
900 East Main Street
Richmond, VA 23219
Dear Attorney General Cuccinelli,
As people who, like you, were elected to serve the families of this great Commonwealth to the best of our ability, we write to you today to convey a pressing concern about your stated plan to remain in your office even as the demands of your campaign for Governor of Virginia increase over the course of this year.
As you well know, nearly every attorney general over the past several decades (including each of the last six), have faced the same choice you face now and determined that running for governor is not compatible with honoring his or her commitment to the people of Virginia to faithfully execute the duties of the office you now hold.
As he announced his resignation, former Governor and Attorney General Jim Gilmore said, “I have concluded an office of this importance should have no part-time campaigners.”
Another Republican Attorney General Jerry Kilgore said of his similar decision, “Virginia needs an attorney general who can fully focus on this office, it’s the right thing to do.”
Finally, before his resignation, our current Governor Robert McDonnell said, “The office is a very difficult job. It demands a full-time attorney general to do the hard work that’s required.”
The hard work that’s required of the attorney general to keep Virginians safe, protect consumers and small businesses, and offer sound legal counsel and representation to state government demands more than a part-time commitment. That is why we write to you today to ask respectfully that you resign your office in order to ensure that Virginians will have an attorney general who is focused full-time on putting their best interests first.
At the heart of our request is what’s right for the people we all serve. If running the state’s law firm were not a position that required full-time attention, the people of Virginia would not be asked to proffer the resources to allow you and your staff to work full time without other income. Seeing however that they do pay the Attorney General a full-time salary, they deserve a full-time commitment to the affairs they hired you to conduct.
None of the undersigned would begrudge you the right to seek the governor’s office this year. Nor would they disagree that your interests are best served by running a vigorous campaign that includes an aggressive travel schedule, hours devoted to meeting Virginians and raising money and any other activity that you deem necessary to achieve your goal. Many Virginians, included we who write you today, would however object to you performing those activities at the expense of the position with which the taxpayers have entrusted you.
It is our hope that you will consider our earnest request to follow the example of your predecessors of both parties and turn the responsibilities of your office over to someone who can give them his or her undivided attention. The role of the Attorney General is too significant, and the challenges we face together as a Commonwealth are too great to allow the demands of your campaign for Governor to overrun the needs of the Virginians we all serve.
Thank you for your consideration of this urgent matter.
Senator Louise Lucas
Senator Mamie Locke
Senator Ralph Northam
Senator Adam Ebbin
David J. Toscano
House Democratic Leader
House Democratic Caucus Chair
Delegate Ken Plum
Delegate Robert Brink
Delegate Jennifer McClellan
Delegate Charniele Herring
Delegate Scott Surovell
Delegate Patrick Hope