Bolling discusses political future

Lieutenant governor addresses introductory politics lecture, talks current gubernatorial race


During Politics Prof. Larry Sabato’s class Monday afternoon, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling discussed his possible run for governor as an independent and the lack of bipartisan cooperation in both Richmond and Washington.

Bolling also addressed the recent change in the Republican nomination process, which switched from a primary vote to a convention vote — a move which he said was pushed forward by allies of Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli who is currently seeking the Republican nomination for the upcoming gubernatorial election. When he dropped out of the race last November, Bolling cited this procedural switch as one of the reasons he would not seek the Republican nomination.

Since then, many have speculated Bolling will run as an independent. “I think there is a realistic opening in this campaign for a credible independent voice,” Bolling said. While Bolling said he identifies as a conservative, he believes he can develop his values into a mainstream platform. He said he will decide by March 14 if he will run for governor, but he said Monday he would not consider running for a third term as lieutenant governor because he would not be comfortable running on a ticket alongside Cuccinelli.

Earlier in his talk, Bolling addressed what he called the “Washingtonization of Richmond,” which he said impedes democracy.

“The biggest problem is people having forgotten how to compromise,” Bolling said. “They see government that is all about these rigid ideologies to the left or the right.” He pointed to the recent transportation improvement bill, which reached across the political aisle to pass in both the Virginia House of Delegates and Senate as evidence for the possibilities of compromise.

Bolling spoke on a variety of social issues, at both the state and national levels. He advocated Virginia taking as much control in implementing the Affordable Care Act as possible, an act that he said he is still opposed to more broadly. He also expressed support for the expansion of Medicaid, which he said would bring revenue into the state.

He spoke in opposition to same-sex marriage, though he expressed willingness to discuss civil unions.

Bolling also said education spending is an issue the state government seriously needs to address, as funding levels in real dollars have not returned to 2007 levels.

“There is nothing more important … than to make sure young people get a quality education,” he said.

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