[Note: Big announcement yesterday from the Lt. Governor. He will seek re-election as Lt. Governor and will not seek to run against AG Bob McDonnell for Governor in 2009. This clears the way for a unified ticket on the GOP side.]
Bolling to Seek Re-election for Lieutenant Governor in 2009
March 24, 2008
Over the past several months, many of my good friends and supporters have repeatedly asked me the same question – do I plan to seek the Republican Party’s nomination for Governor in 2009?
I have tried my best to avoid answering that question, because I believe it is important for our party to keep our focus firmly fixed on 2008 and the elections at hand.
If we are going to retain the presidency this November, elect a Republican to the United States Senate and retain the eight Republican seats we hold in the House of Representatives, we must focus on these elections and not look ahead to future elections.
Nonetheless, the interest in 2009 has continued and has intensified in recent months. Therefore, I have decided that I need to disclose my future political intentions now and not wait until after the November 2008 elections.
While Jean Ann and I deeply appreciate the encouragement we have received from countless people all across our state, I have decided that I will not be a candidate for Governor in 2009.
It would be a great honor to serve as Governor of Virginia and I think I would make a good Governor. However, I have decided that this is simply not the right time in my personal and professional life for me to embark on a gubernatorial campaign.
If there is one thing I learned from my campaign for Lieutenant Governor in 2005, it was that a statewide campaign is a very demanding thing and a campaign for Governor is an all consuming thing.
Given the all consuming demands of a gubernatorial campaign, I do not believe that anyone should seek that office unless they are able to dedicate their full time and attention to the campaign.
At the present time, I have concluded that numerous personal and professional responsibilities simply prevent me from dedicating my full time and attention to a campaign for Governor.
As you may know, in Virginia the office of Lieutenant Governor is considered to be a part time office. 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.
My first responsibility has to be to my family and I have reluctantly concluded that it would be impossible for me to hold down a very demanding job in the private sector, fulfill my duties as Lieutenant Governor, and run a successful campaign for Governor at the same time.
In addition, five years ago I had the privilege of joining a wonderful group of people in starting up a new business operation in Richmond. We have done well, but ours is still a young and growing business. Until that business has matured and reached its goals, I cannot walk away from the commitments I made five years ago to my business associates.
Needless to say, this was a very difficult decision for me and my family. It is difficult to have a goal and be so close to achieving that goal, only to have it deferred to another day. Nonetheless, that is sometimes the cards life deals us and we have to play them to the best of our ability.
I know that my decision will surprise most people, disappoint many people and it may even make a few people happy. However, I am confident that it is the right decision for me and my family.
Six years ago, when I first started my political travels across Virginia, I did so with a good friend and colleague, Bob McDonnell. Little did we know that we would have the privilege of serving the people of Virginia as Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General.
Bob McDonnell is a good friend and a good man, and he has done an outstanding job serving as the Attorney General of Virginia for the past two and half years. It has been a privilege to work with him.
As you know, Bob has also expressed an interest in running for Governor in 2009 and I think he would make a great Governor. Should Bob decide to seek the office of Governor, he will have my full, complete and enthusiastic support.
While I will not be a candidate for Governor in 2009, I do plan to seek re-election to the office of Lieutenant Governor and I would be honored to have your support in that campaign.
I have enjoyed serving as Lieutenant Governor for the past two and half years. I believe I have made a positive contribution to the betterment of our state and our party and I am willing to continue serving in that capacity if it is the will of the people of Virginia.
I have had the privilege of representing the people of Virginia in state and local government for the past 17 years – four years as a member and chairman of the Board of Supervisors in Hanover County, ten years as a member of the Senate of Virginia, and for the past two and a half years as Lieutenant Governor.
During that time I have done my best to provide the people of Virginia with aggressive and effective leadership in state and local government, and to consistently support the conservative principles and values that most Virginians believe in. I think that effort has been successful and I hope you agree.
As you have heard me say many times, Virginia is a great place to live, work and raise a family. However, we face some serious challenges in Virginia today, and to keep Virginia great we still have some work to do.
Likewise, this is a challenging time for our party. The political dynamics and demographics of our state are changing and we can no longer assume that we will win statewide campaigns just because we are Republicans.
While the challenges we face are significant, I know that we are capable of overcoming them. By working together, by focusing on conservative solutions to the challenges that confront us and by offering a positive vision for the future, I believe we will continue to win political campaigns and earn the right to lead Virginia.
Jean Ann and I deeply appreciate all you have done for us over the years. Without your friendship, confidence and support, our success would not have been possible. We look forward to growing our friendship over the coming years and working with you to build a better Virginia.
Very Truly Yours,
WILLIAM T. BOLLING
Commonwealth of Virginia