Greg over at BVBL had the first crack at it, followed by Matt Mackowiak and CNN’s Pete Hamby — but it appears as if Bolling will yet again take the path of honor and step aside so that another candidate can have an unobstructed shot at the Democratic nominee.

If this proves to be true, it will be a massive coup for Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli heading into the RPV Advance… and the question becomes: will Bill Bolling run again for Lieutenant Governor?

…if Bolling runs for a 3rd term, it will instantly clear the field for the LG nod.   Big news this evening.


UPDATE:  Virginia Virtucon confirms.  Bolling staffers are uniformly in shock about the announcement… as are key Bolling volunteers.  Statement expected shortly.

UPDATE x2:  Less than three weeks ago Bolling made waves by claiming repeatedly he was the only ‘electable’ candidate, this would be a dramatic change from that and avoid a brutally divisive intraparty battle in for the 2013 nomination, similar to Bolling’s stepping aside for Bob McDonnell in 2009, leading a united party to a statewide blowout by an average of nearly 17 points for all three statewide offices.

UPDATE x3:  Announcement is now expected to come sometime tomorrow.  No word on whether a 3rd LG run is being mulled, but it’s decidedly pessimistic.  Volunteers for Bolling are still expressing shock on Facebook and Twitter.

UPDATE x4:  Jonathan Martin at Politico is the first MSM outlet to make the call:

Bolling was Mitt Romney’s Virginia campaign chair and many in the state assumed the lieutenant governor would get a face-saving appointment in Washington had Romney won the presidency.

But with the move to a convention and Romney’s loss, Bolling appears out of options.

It was “a recognition of how difficult it would be to win the nomination,” said one Virginia Republican source about Bolling’s move.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) announced last week that he would not seek to run for governor again, likely leaving Terry McAuliffe with a clear path to the Democratic nomination.

That recognition is difficult to swallow.  Had 2009 been a convention, there’s a great deal of confidence that Bolling would have won that contest.  Now that the convention is here… Cuccinelli was widely suspected of having 4:1 odds going in.

Tough call by the Bolling team tonight, but a characteristically honorable one for Bill Bolling.  What a great man.

UPDATE x5:  Democrats online are naturally apoplectic about the news that Cuccinelli will have a free shot.  One comment just dripping with class:

So Terry McAuliffe is all that stands between Ken Cuccinelli turning Virginia into a snake handler’s convention.

Yup.  The party of tolerance… I think reality just set in that T-Mac isn’t the guy to beat Cuccinelli.  Paging Tom Perriello….

Read Bolling’s statement and Cuccinelli’s statement.

  • He is obviously prepping for a Senate run

    • Lovettsville Lady

      Really? He knows he can’t win a republican nomination for Governor but he’s going to win a Senate race? Not likely.

  • mmm… I don’t know that everyone will step aside for Bolling. He hasn’t endeared himself to all party activists over the last four years.

  • justaconservativegirl

    He had little to no chance at the nomination.

  • momsaid

    What do they mean by the “Path of Honor”? Is he alleged to have done something wrong? He was already endorsed by the Governor, and I’ve never heard of his being unpopular in his actions concerning his job or the Party. What’s up?

    • In 2009, Bolling did the honorable thing and stepped aside for Bob McDonnell for governor — rather than fight out a bruising primary that could have cost us the Governor’s Mansion. In 2013, Bolling seems to be in character yet again… and I’ve known the man since he was my state senator — if there’s one thing in Bolling’s character, it is honor. If you don’t know that, you don’t know him.

      • Quite frankly I am relieved now. Bill is a good and honorable man and I was not looking forward to seeing him go head to head with Ken.

      • Yeah. What Shaun said.

  • Although the original comment seems gone, I don’t think Bolling is an automatic field clearer. The anti-establishment mood is stronger than it was in 2009, and just about everybody in the mix is a stronger candidate than Muldoon was. I suspect several would be auto-outs (Lingamfelter and Martin come to mind, possibly Jeanmarie and Stewart) but the rest could be encouraged to stay in by the right voices.

    • Common Sense

      This would be an auto-out for everyone if Bolling ran for LG because all the Ken people would be behind him as a result and all the Bolling people would as well. That’s the vast majority of the party right there.

  • I am a Bolling supporter, and while I am disappointed, I absolutely agree that this is an honorable move. Bill Bolling is a better man than Virginia Republicans sometimes deserve.

  • If Cuccinelli were the better man, Bolling wouldn’t be stepping aside for the second time to avoid another Hager-Earley bloodbath. While I don’t like the immediate result, Bolling has the RPV’s interest more at heart than just about any pol I know. Now I want to see who has the character to stand down for LG?

  • Nathan Miller

    Unfortunate. Cooch doesn’t stand a chance of winning.

    • I disagree. Against Terry A. he does.

    • Lovettsville Lady

      Yup, that’s what they say every time Ken Cuccinelli runs and he proves them wrong every time. Remember 2009 when they said that he would drag down the whole ticket? Remember when Cuccinelli went on to win more votes than Bolling?

  • pinecone321

    Paging Tom Perriello- Hahahaha. Not even the liberal enclave of Charlottesville and George Soros’s money could prevent him from being One Term Tommy.

  • pinecone321

    By the time election day in 2013 hits, many more of the horrors of Obamacare will be in effect. A whole lot of people will lose their employer provided health insurance. A whole lot of people will find themselves with reduced work hours, and consequently less pay. The cost of healthcare insurance will skyrocket even more. Many coal fired power plants will be shut down, and electricity costs will necessarily skyrocket. The cost of a gallon of gas will be far above where it is now. There is much more in store for us via the Obama administration, especially now that he has no worries about a re-election campaign.

    Perhaps I am being naive, but I can’t see how any Democrat can or will win any election once the misery index starts including even those that voted for that outcome. I’d put big bucks on a Cuccinelli blowout no matter what Democrat challenges him, provided the Republican’s in VA take voter fraud very seriously and plan accordingly.

    • Darrell

      Cooch is da man! Yahoo, let’s getter done. You left out the part where the GOP is going to take the blame for everything you just said. If the party refuses to cooperate with Obama, Cooch is dead meat. If they keep to their Graham cracker capitulation path, they lose the GOP base. Forget the social stuff, just the wacky crap he did on housing, banking, and healthcare is more than enough to kill his run. He had a chance to actually help people, but he blew it. All the cheer leading in the world isn’t going to help. The wrong guy stepped down.

  • I am a big Cuccunelli fan, but that war on women thing seemed to work well for Obama, so I don’t think winning the election will be easy for him.

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