Report: Bolling to drop out of 2013 governor’s race

Multiple reports late Tuesday night have Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling preparing to announce on Wednesday that he will drop out of the 2013 Virginia governor’s race.

Bolling and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli were headed toward a bitter battle for the Republican Party nomination next year. Cuccinelli was the prohibitive favorite to win the nomination, which was to be decided in a party convention in June.

With Bolling apparently stepping aside, Cuccinelli would seem to have clear sailing toward the nomination.

On the Democratic Party side, former Democratic National Committee chair Terry McAuliffe seems to be in the driver’s seat for the party nod for governor in 2013. Former governor and current U.S. Sen. Mark Warner had been mulling over a possible bid, but Warner announced last week that he would not enter the 2013 race.

Bolling is finishing up a second term as lieutenant governor. First elected in 2005, he had seemed to be in position for a run at the governor’s job in 2009 when he decided to step aside in favor of then-Attorney General Bob McDonnell, who went on to win that fall’s governor’s race in a landslide over Bath County State Sen. Creigh Deeds.

McAuliffe came up short in the 2009 Democratic Party gubernatorial primary to Deeds after beginning that race as the presumptive favorite.

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