Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has reversed his position on an earlier public call for immediate action that would allow candidates who failed to qualify for the March Republican presidential primary a spot on the ballot.
Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling took a swipe at his rival for the 2013 GOP gubernatorial nomination in the aftermath, encouraging Cuccinelli to “avoid making public statements that criticize our state election laws while his office is defending the State Board of Elections.”
“I am concerned that such public comments could be used against the Commonwealth in our effort to defend these lawsuits, and I am confident that the attorney general would not want to do anything that could jeopardize his office’s ability to win this case,” Bolling said in a statement.
Cuccinelli said Sunday that he changed his position on his earlier call to take action to allow Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich to be on the March 6 Virginia primary ballot because he believes “Virginians are best served by an attorney general who consistently supports the rule of law.”
The attorney general said changing the rules midstream is “inconsistent with respecting and preserving the rule of law – something I am particularly sensitive to as Virginia’s attorney general.”
Bolling played up that final point.
“While I do not object to the General Assembly considering changes to our ballot access requirements for future elections, it would have been inappropriate to make such changes in the middle of the current presidential nominating process. That would have been terribly unfair to Gov. Romney and Congressman Paul, both of whom successfully complied with these requirements and filed a sufficient number of legal petition signatures to qualify for the Virginia ballot,” Bolling said.