Virginia Lt. Governor Declines Independent Bid For Governor
Virginia Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, who dropped out of the race for the Republican nomination for Governor late last year, has said that he will not be running as an independent:
RICHMOND — Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling announced Tuesday that he would not run for governor as an independent, ending a months-long tease that had promised to add considerable drama to an already colorful race.
“[A]fter a great deal of consideration I have decided that I will not be an Independent candidate for Governor this year,” Bolling announced in a late-morning email.
Bolling has been mulling an independent bid for governor since dropping out of the race for the GOP nomination in late November. He’d conceded then that Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) had outmaneuvered him for the party nod, but pointedly refused to endorse him, saying the tea party hero was too extreme for the state. Bolling said the same was true of the likely Democratic nominee, Terry McAuliffe, and said he might run as an “independent Republican.”
But the challenge of raising money outside of the party structure, the emotional tug of the GOP, and a personal desire to step away from an ugly political environment eventually convinced him to make the run, Bolling said in his e-mail.
“While I still value public service a great deal, the truth is that I just don’t find the political process to be as enjoyable as I once did,” his message said. “Because of this, I decided that the time has come for me to step away from elected office and look for other ways to serve Virginia.”
Bolling did not endorse either candidate in his e-mail but wished them both well in a way that could be seen as a parting jab at Cuccinelli, since Bolling names McAuliffe first.
“I wish Mr. McAuliffe and Mr. Cuccinelli well as they begin their campaigns,” he said. “One of these two candidates will have the responsibility of leading Virginia into the future. This is a tremendous responsibility and it should not be taken lightly. I encourage them to run campaigns that are worthy of Virginia; campaigns that focus on the big issues facing our state and offer a positive vision for the future of Virginia. That’s the kind of Governor the people of Virginia want and deserve.”
This leaves a race between two candidates that a heck of a lot of people here in Virginia don’t seem to like, including one that was rejected by his own party only four years ago. Recent polls have the race virtually tied but there is a huge undecided figure, some 30% in the current RealClearPolitics average. It’s possible that some portion of that undecided vote consisted of people who were waiting to see what Bolling would do, of course, so it will be interesting to see where the polls start going now that he’s officially out of the race. In any case, though, I’m not detecting very much enthusiasm for either candidate at the moment, which suggests we’re likely to see low turnout in November.