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Bolling forms “Virginia Mainstream Project” to support GOP candidates

Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling may not be attending the Republican convention this weekend in Richmond, but he fully intends to remain a presence within the Republican party. For a press release…

Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling today announced the formation of the Virginia Mainstream Project. The Virginia Mainstream Project is a state-based political action committee that will focus on electing mainstream Republicans to public office and promote responsible policy solutions to the most important challenges facing the Commonwealth.

Lieutenant Governor Bolling stated, “I’m proud to announce the creation of the Virginia Mainstream Project. As I’ve said many times over the past several months, there is a growing need in the Republican Party in Virginia to recruit and elect mainstream, conservative candidates to state and local office and promote responsible policy solutions to the most important challenges facing Virginia. The Virginia Mainstream Project will work to address these issues while encouraging bipartisan cooperation and compromise on the major issues facing the Commonwealth. I am excited about this opportunity to continue to serve Virginia and remain actively involved in the public debate.”

The primary missions of the Virginia Mainstream Project include:

* Recruit, advise and support mainstream Republican candidates for state and local office, with particular emphasis on the House of Delegates in 2013 and the State Senate in 2015.

*Provide a platform to continue discussing the need for mainstream approaches to governing in Virginia that put policy ahead of politics and seek to promote compromise and bipartisan cooperation to solve the most important challenges facing the Commonwealth.

*Develop and promote responsible conservative policy solutions to the most important issues facing Virginia, with an emphasis on fiscal policy, economic development, tax reform, education reform, transportation and health care.

Paperwork to create the Virginia Mainstream Project was filed with the State Board of Elections yesterday.

Additionally, Bolling has transferred the remaining assets from his campaign committee to the Virginia Mainstream Project and will be raising additional funds to help support the important work of this new initiative.

A GOP operative ran a close version of this idea past me a couple of months ago. The concept then was simple: Bolling drops out of the gubernatorial race and puts his campaign warchest to work for Republican candidates. In return, the party’s grandees would not only forgive him for trying to muck things up, they would also look more kindly upon any future political aspirations he may have.

Bolling is out of the race. He’s supporting GOP candidates (except, so far, for Ken Cuccinelli). The obvious question now: does he have future political ambitions? And if so, does this latest move mean the official apparatus will work to clear the decks for him should he decide to make a run?