Sunday, December 18, 2011

An Update on 2013

December 18, 2011

Dear Fellow Virginians,

Time seems to be getting shorter and shorter, so the Compass will reflect that a bit, but here goes.

Four quick initial thoughts on the Governor's race... in chronological order.  First, back in 2008, then-Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling and then-Attorney General Bob McDonnell made a private agreement. They agreed that Bob would run for Governor in 2009 and Bill would run in 2013.  Part of the deal of course was that in exchange for Bill stepping back in 2009, Bob McDonnell would support Bill Bolling for Governor in 2013.  I was unaware of the agreement before it was announced, and I had no role in its development.

The Governor will uphold his deal with the Lt. Governor.  My working relationship with the Governor is not going to suffer during the remainder of my tenure.  Additionally, I am as readily available and willing to work with the Lt. Governor as ever.  We are all allies in governance today and always, even if we will be competitors in politics in 2013.

Second, while I would note that some have complained to me about not "waiting my turn," I didn't get in a line and I am not in the habit of trying to stifle competition.  I'm certainly not going to stifle it myself.

In the Republican Party, we talk all the time about the importance of free markets and open competition.  It seems to me that if we don't practice what we preach, we won't have much credibility with others.  Not sticking to our principles has done our party enormous damage over the last 10 years or so (it gave us the current President), and these are traps I have continually fought against in my time in politics and government.  I don't intend to change that when the time comes to elect our next Governor.

And lastly under this second point, I only recently made the decision that I intend to run for Governor in 2013.  It was not something that I showed up in the AG's office to do.  Much of what I have learned and observed from the unique vantage point of an Attorney General has influenced my decision.

Third, when I do begin to campaign for Governor, I'll begin the campaign gradually.  The reason for the gradual nature of the campaign of course is that 2012 is the most important election in which we are ever going to be involved in our lifetimes.  The stakes have never been higher, and my political work will reflect that.  I hope all of you are ready to pitch in next year, as Virginia will be at ground zero as one of the most important swing states in the country. 

Fourth, I have let it be known that, when I do begin to campaign for Governor, I will not step down as Attorney General.  While other Virginia Attorneys General before me have resigned to run for Governor, its important to know that Virginia is the only state with such a tradition.  No other state does this.  Why? 

Because AGs in other states are perfectly capable of doing their jobs while running for office (whether for re-election, Governor, or whatever).  I am too.

Would I have resigned to run for re-election?  No.  Then why resign when we get in the Governor's race?

I said when I was running for AG in 2009 that I fully expected to serve out my term, and I made such comments in the absence of a commitment to run or not run for any particular office.

It will be a long road, and our journey will commence gradually as it relates to the Governor's race.  And throughout it all, my top priority will remain being the best Attorney General I can be for Virginia so long as I am honored to hold this office.

There will be more to say on this subject later, but as for now, it's on to 2012!


Ken Cuccinelli, II
Attorney General of Virginia

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