Republican Bill Bolling, the two-term lieutenant governor of Virginia, has dropped out of the race for governor, CNN reports. Bolling was challenging Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli for the Republican nomination. Here's more from CNN:
Those reasons included the move from state GOP officials earlier this year to hold a nominating convention instead of a statewide primary - a process thought to favor Cuccinelli, the candidate with a closer connection to the party's conservative, tea-party friendly base.
"I know how divisive conventions can be, and I was concerned that a prolonged campaign between Mr. Cuccinelli and me could create deep divisions within our party," Bolling wrote. "The convention process would have forced Republican activists to take sides against their friends in local committees all across our state. The wounds that can develop from that type of process are often difficult to heal."
In his statement, Bolling did not offer an endorsement of Cuccinelli, saying he was "surprised and disappointed" in Cuccinelli's decision to run for governor instead of forming a "united Republican ticket in 2013."
Cuccinelli released this statement:
I am honored and proud to have served with the Lieutenant Governor over the last decade, in the State Senate, as running mates for statewide office and as leaders of Virginia State Government.
Throughout this race, I have kept to the premise that Bill and I are allies in governance, even if temporary competitors in politics. Bill Bolling is a good man -- a true public servant who has worked hard throughout his career to make Virginia a better place to live and raise our families. I cannot speak highly enough of his service.
I will honor the Lt. Governor's service by campaigning for Governor as we both pledged to govern when we were sworn in, in 2010. I will continue the challenging work of advancing first principles in Virginia's policy arena by creating an environment for maximizing job creation, preserving life, liberty and opportunity, and working to make Virginia a beacon of hope and prosperity in these tough economic times.
Cuccinelli has no other serious opponents for the Republican nomination, so he will likely face Democrat Terry McAuliffe in next year's gubernatorial race. McAuliffe, who is so far similarly unchallenged in his party, lost the 2009 Democratic primary to Creigh Deeds. Deeds went on to lose the general election to Republican Bob McDonnell. Governors in Virginia may not serve two consecutive four-year terms.