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It’s McDonnell-Bolling After All

In a move that came as a surprise to some, Bill Bolling announced yesterday that he would run for re-election as Virginia’s Lt. Governor, rather than seek the state’s top job, in 2009. Lt. Gov. Bolling is running on a loose ticket with Attorney General Bob McDonnell, who had already announced his candidacy for Governor. (In Virginia, voters choose Governor and Lt. Governor separately.)

Ever the friend to bloggers, Lt. Gov. Bolling reiterated on a conference call yesterday that his decision is based on time and financial considerations. In Virginia, the Lt. Governor’s job is considered part-time, whereas running for Governor requires a full-time commitment, which Mr. Bolling isn’t able to make at this time, he explained, walking the fiscal conservative walk. Lt. Gov. Bolling noted that circumstances might allow him to run for Governor in 2013. (Virginia Governors are limited to one term.) He also waved off, though did not refute, a suggestion that he might run for federal office. State-wide disgrace Jim Webb‘s Senate seat is up in 2012.

The Lt. Governor’s decision to run with, rather than against, A.G. McDonnell staves off an ugly intra-party fight. The race will have national implications, as the first referendum on the next president, and promises to be closely watched nationally as well as in Virginia.

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