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Virginia Republicans Brace For Their Own Convention Next Year

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Both Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli think they can win over voters in a convention format.
Steve Helber/Gage Skidmore
Both Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli think they can win over voters in a convention format.

The Republican nomination for president may have been secured by Mitt Romney this week, but the politics for the Republican nomination for governor in Virginia are still going strong.

Now that Republican Party leaders in Virginia have given up on the idea of holding a statewide primary in favor of a convention to determine a candidate next year, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling both say they are tailoring their approach. Cuccinelli supporters say the format benefits the attorney general because of his support among social conservatives and political activists.

"I think that our grassroots support and my, frankly, engagement on a wide variety of issues has encouraged a lot of grassroots activists to come to our aid and will show up for us in May," said Cuccinelli in an appearance on the Kojo Nnamdi Show.

Bolling disagrees. Appearing on Morning Edition, the lieutenant governor said Cuccinelli has baggage.

"Sometimes being well known is not a good think if folks don't like you, and a lot of these issues that he's been involved in have created a lot of visibility," said Bolling. "But in most of the issues, he's just not been successful in getting anything done."

The current governor, Bob McDonnell, is term-limited from running again. That's opened up the field on the Republican side to an intense fight between Cuccinelli and Bolling.

The convention is scheduled for May.


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