Bolling drops out of Virginia gubernatorial race
Virginia Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling announced Wednesday morning he was dropping out of the 2013 Republican race for Virginia governor. Bolling’s departure from the race means Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli will likely secure his party’s nomination for governor.
Bolling said in a press release he was confident suspending his campaign was “the right decision.”
Some experts speculated Bolling left the race because he had little shot at winning his party’s nomination.
“Bolling looked at the writing on the wall,” Center for Politics spokesperson Geoff Skelley said. “He realized it would be extremely difficult to win [looking] at the realities of the state convention.”
The Republican Party recently opted to change its nomination system from a statewide Virginia primary to a state convention.
“The convention actually chooses candidates [and] the people who make up conventions are the strongest and most fervent of conservatives,” Skelley said. “Cuccinelli’s standing is very strong [and] popular with people on the right. Bolling is a conservative but more moderate.”
Cuccinelli issued a statement Wednesday praising Bolling. “Throughout this race, I have kept to the premise that Bill and I are allies in governance, even if temporary competitors in politics,” Cuccinelli said in the release.
As the expected nominee, Cuccinelli will likely face Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe in the general election. Skelley said Bolling’s withdrawal somewhat improves Cuccinelli’s chances to win the election.
The McAuliffe campaign could not be reached for comment.
Bolling said in his release that he plans to remain involved in politics, but he did not indicate whether he would seek reelection as lieutenant governor next year.