Friday, March 28, 2008

What Will Cuccinelli Announce?

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:


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.

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.

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?


Craig Orndorff said...

You are correct that Gil Davis sought the AG slot in 1997, along with Kenneth Stolle and Mr. Kilgore. However, you are incorrect that Mr. Kilgore won (although he did in the loosest sense of the term). That is to say, after Mr. Stolle and Mr. Davis got involved in a murder suicide pact (which can be expounded upon elsewhere), Mr. Earley shot up through the middle. Mr. Kilgore, Public Safety secretary at the time, came in what is now know as "the respectable second."

This put him in position to easily clinch the nomination in 2001, and incidentally was the only GOPer to win that year.

.....and that is how little Jerry Kilgore became our nominee in 2005. And now you know.....the rest of the story.

Rick Sincere said...

You are right. I had my chronology wrong. Jerry Kilgore was elected Attorney General in 2001, not 1997. He ran for governor in 2005.

Storage Fairfax said...

Found your blog in Technorati.

Cool Post. I met Kilgore at a press confernce, his breath was minty.