Last weekend, as reported here through video, state Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-37) told members of the Republican Liberty Caucus that he is leaning toward running for Attorney General in 2009. (Given other developments this week, he would -- should he win the nomination -- be the third man on a McDonnell-Bolling-Cuccinelli ticket.)
Now comes a news release from Cuccinelli's office, alerting the press and public to a "key announcement" to be made on Monday afternoon:
If Cuccinelli does go ahead and make the run for Attorney General, he'll be entering a crowded field. As I mentioned previously, former Arlington County School Board member Dave Foster has expressed interest, as has Gil Davis, a Northern Virginia attorney who sought the nomination in 1997, the year that Jerry Kilgore won. So has Delegate Rob Bell (R-58) and, apparently, Bell's predecessor, former Delegate Paul Harris, according to Daily Progress political writer Bob Gibson. Gibson also mentions state Senator Mark Obenshain (R-26) of Harrisonburg as a possibility. In his remarks to the RLC, Cuccinelli noted that Obenshain is an ally of his in the Virginia Senate.CUCCINELLI SCHEDULES KEY ANNOUNCEMENT
Fairfax, Virginia, March 28, 2008 – Virginia State Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-37th) today scheduled a press conference for Monday, March 31st at 12:30 pm. The press conference will occur in front of the Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway; Fairfax, Virginia 22035.
Cuccinelli will address his intentions regarding the 2009 race for the Republican nomination for Virginia Attorney General: “Having had some time at home after the General Assembly session, my wife and I have made some decisions about this race that are now final enough to share.”
Cuccinelli, a partner in the law firm of Cuccinelli & Day, PLLC, was first elected to the Senate of Virginia in a 2002 special election. He serves on the Senate Courts of Justice Committee and has worked closely with the Attorney General’s office on key public safety and public interest legislation.###
The Democratic side may not be as crowded. A Washington Post article from late January suggests Delegate Steve Shannon (D-35) and state Finance Secretary Jody Wagner may throw their hats into the ring. There had been some talk earlier on about Delegate Brian Moran (D-46), the leader of the House Democratic caucus, running for the AG post, but he seems firmly intent on running for his party's gubernatorial nomination against state Senator Creigh Deeds (D-25), who came within a hair's breadth of winning the Attorney General's race in 2005.
As a transplant to Virginia myself, I feel safe in asking, in Moran's case, whether Virginia voters are willing to elect a third non-native candidate in a row to the governor's office. And not just any outlander, but the second New Englander since 2001. One would hope that issues and character are the main criteria for a choice but really -- after the reaction Jerry Kilgore's voice got in 2005, is it possible that Moran's Boston accent will play well in Southwest and Southside Virginia?