Ken Cuccinelli blazing own path in Virginia gubernatorial campaign

by
May 17, 2013

Virginia Attorney General Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II will formally accept the Republican nomination for governor Saturday, but he’ll stand alone at the top of the GOP with neither the man he hopes to succeed nor his onetime rival for the nomination in Richmond to help him unify the party.

Gov. Bob McDonnell is scheduled to deliver a commencement address at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise in the southwestern part of the state, and Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, who ditched his own governor’s bid, has planned a fishing trip in West Virginia.

That might actually be to Mr. Cuccinelli’s liking, said Quentin Kidd, a political scientist at Christopher Newport University.

“From day one of this current term, he has essentially said he was going to stake out his own political/policy course, so I don’t think Cuccinelli has ever expected to get anywhere with the help of Bob McDonnell or Bill Bolling,” he said.

Still, Morton Blackwell, the state’s Republican national committeeman, said that similar to 2009, when Mr. McDonnell cruised to an easy win, Virginia Republicans are hungry to avenge disappointing losses in the previous year.

“We certainly had a major effort to get the party united when it became clear that Cuccinelli would be unopposed,” Mr. Blackwell said. “I think there is already a lot of enthusiasm across Virginia.”

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