Cuccinelli could lock GOP support for Governor bid with Bolling exit

Posted at 7:05 AM, Nov 28, 2012
and last updated 2012-11-28 07:05:07-05

By Alix Bryan

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR ) – Several sources have said that Virginia Lt. Governor Bill Bolling could be announcing today that he will drop-out of the 2013 gubernatorial race, CBS 6 political analyst Dr. Bob Holsworth confirmed. 

The two-term lieutenant governor would face Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli for the GOP nomination next year. However, Bolling is widely viewed as the underdog and is now expected to drop out of the race. 

Politicoreports it was perceived that a Presidential win for Mitt Romney would have boosted Bolling’s profile. Bolling served as Mitt Romney’s Virginia campaign chair and would have likely received an appointment in Washington if the presidential race had swung the other way.

Bolling has Gov. McDonnell’s endorsement. But the nomination will be decided next year at a state party convention, often dominated by more conservative activists, which favors Cuccinelli, rather than a primary, which could favor Bolling.

Last week Senator Mark R. Warner announced he would not run for governor, which leaves Terry McAuliffe, former DNC chair and top adviser to Bill and Hilary Clinton, as the only declared Democratic candidate.

In 2009, McAuliffe lost the gubernatorial primary to Creigh Deeds. 

Virginia and New Jersey are the only two states to hold gubernatorial contests in the year after a presidential election.

CNN wire contributed to this report.