On Tuesday, VA Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling emailed supporters saying he has decided not to run for Governor in Virginia this year. Last November, Bolling pulled the plug on his campaign to seek the Republican nomination for the office. Speculation had been building that he instead would launch a third-party bid for Governor.
Bolling’s decision sets a likely match-up between GOP Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and Democrat Terry MacAuliffe, former chair of the DNC and fundraiser for President Bill Clinton, in November’s election. The race for Governor in the Commonwealth is the only competitive governor’s race this year. Outgoing GOP Gov. Bob McDonnell is term-limited. Bolling’s decision is a boost to Cuccinelli, who would have suffered from a divided GOP vote.
Virginia is a kind of bellwether state. In recent decades, the winner of the Governor’s race has been the opposite party to the one controlling the White House. This would give Cuccinelli the edge, but many in the state’s GOP establishment worry that his views are too conservative in a state that is politically very competitive.
Cuccinelli filed the first lawsuit against ObamaCare, walking the papers to the Federal Courthouse within minutes of Obama signing the bill into law. The Supreme Court eventually upheld the individual mandate as a tax, but through out the requirement that state’s expand their Medicaid program. Virginia has not yet decided whether it will expand the program.
ObamaCare takes full effect on January 1st, just two months after the Virginia elections. As a vocal critic of the law, Cuccinelli’s campaign could benefit if problems with implementation of the law arise in the coming months.