Virginia Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling took himself out of the running for governor Wednesday morning, leaving Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli as the leading candidate for the Republican nomination, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch
"Not everything we want in life is meant to be," Bolling said in recognition that a change in state Republican Party's nominating process had made it difficult for him to challenge Cuccinelli in the 2013 campaign to replace outgoing GOP Gov. Bob McDonnell.
"Needless to say, this was a very difficult decision for me, and I know it will come as a surprise and disappointment to many, but I am confident it is the right decision," Bolling said.
The Times-Dispatch reported that Bolling expressed disappointment in Cuccinelli's decision last year to challenge him for the nomination, "rather than support his run for governor, as Bolling had done for Bob McDonnell in 2009," choosing instead to run for a second term as lieutenant governor.
“While I was surprised and disappointed by Mr. Cuccinelli's decision, I was confident in my ability to win our party's nomination for governor in a statewide primary election," Bolling said.
But he added that the shift earlier this year from a statewide primary campaign contest to a party convention to pick the nominee, a move supported by Cuccinelli and expected to favor him, would have a serious impact on his ability to compete.
“For the past several months my campaign team has worked hard to restructure our campaign to effectively compete in the convention process," Bolling said. "While we have made a great deal of progress, I reluctantly concluded that the decision to change the method of nomination from a primary to a convention created too many obstacles for us to overcome."
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