Republican shakeup – Bolling pulls out of race

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Republican shakeup – Bolling pulls out of race
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Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor, Republican William T. Bolling, told reporters Tuesday that he will not run for governor, allowing Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell to step in and challenge Alexandria Del. Brian Moran (D-46) and Sen. R. Creigh Deeds in 2009. 
 
Analysts said the move by Bolling gives Republicans their first solid shot at recapturing the governorship from Virginia Democrats in more than a decade. The Governor’s Mansion has been held by a Democrat since Alexandria’s Mark Warner won in 2001. Tim Kaine in 2005 after Warner completed a four-year term limit. The last Republican to hold the state’s top job was James S. Gilmore III, who was elected in 1997.

Bolling told reporters that personal and professional obligations had kept him for running. “As much as I would like to be the governor of Virginia, I concluded that 2009 was not the right time to embark on such a campaign,” he said. “Because I’m not independently wealthy and do not currently have a full-time government position, I have to work for a living, just like each of you, to pay the mortgage, college tuition, the power bill and all the rest.”

Bolling’s withdrawal from the race and the decision by former governor Sen. George Allen in January not to run give McDonnell almost a sure ride to the Republican nomination.

“The first key to winning back the office of governor is returning unity to our party,” McDonnell told campaign supporters in an e-mail. “By Republicans uniting early, and listening to all Virginians, while the Democrats face a lengthy primary contest, we will gain a significant and powerful advantage heading into the general election next November. Bill and I will work hard to ensure this happens.”

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