Virginia Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Virginia Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling announced Tuesday that he won’t run for governor as an independent, leaving Republican state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe to duke it out in November.
Bolling briefly ran against Cuccinelli for the Republican nomination. He was considering an independent bid to pick up moderate voters alienated by McAuliffe’s liberalism and Cuccinelli’s conservatism.
Bolling said financial considerations and an unwillingness to break with his Republican allies led him to forego the race, Politico reports
“Based on my discussions with key donors over the past three weeks, I was confident I could raise enough money to run a competitive campaign, but I was not confident I could raise enough money to run a winning campaign,” he said in a statement.
“Running as an independent candidate would have required me to sever my longstanding relationship with the Republican Party. While I am very concerned about the current direction of the Republican Party, I stillhave many dear friends in the Republican Party, people who have been incredibly supportive of me over the years.”
Bolling did not endorse a candidate. Polls show a close race between Cuccinelli and McAuliffe. The latest major poll, taken by Quinnipiac University Feb. 14-18, has them tied at 38 percent.
On one hand, the state voted for Barack Obama in 2012, but on the other it voted Cuccinelli into his current position in 2009.
Virginia is the only state in the Union that prohibits its governors from running for a second consecutive term, meaning that current office holder Bill McDonnell cannot stand this year.
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