RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) — Politicians across Virginia have speculated for months if Lt. Governor Bill Bolling will leave the Republican Party and run for governor as an Independent.
Bolling will make his decision Thursday.
Bolling had planned to run for the Republican nomination but when the party switched its nominating format from a primary to a convention Bolling dropped out clearing the way for presumptive nominee Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.
However, if Bolling runs he will have the support of the Virginia Independent Green Party.
“There are a lot of people out there who would like to see Bill Bolling run,” Gail Parker, a Vice Chair with the Independent group, said.
While the organization’s resources pale in comparison to the Democrat or Republican operation, Parker said they can provide support.
“We can provide people to collect signatures to get him on the ballot and there will also be funding resources available to him,” Parker added.
Some political experts warn however that a Bolling run could divide even further the Republican Party of Virginia.
Following the vote by Republican leaders this year regarding tax increases to fix a transportation shortfall, some conservatives have begun attacking members of the GOP.
“The anti-tax activists are furious,” Dr. Bob Holsworth, a CBS 6 analyst, said.
No better example of this is the Virginia-based Super PAC launching an anti-McDonnell advertisement in Iowa – the first leg of the 2016 Presidential campaign.
You can watch that advertisement here:
In response to the advertisement Tucker Martin, a McDonnell spokesman, said.
“A $5,000 TV ‘buy’ isn’t an attempt to run the first real ad of 2016. It’s an attempt to get articles about running the first TV ad of 2016. In any case, if the Patriot Super PAC is indeed a group of “super patriots” they will immediately apologize to the good people of Iowa for bothering them with an inane political ad in March of 2013- no matter how minuscule the buy.”
“Ironically, the Governor’s leadership on transportation will allow employees of this Virginia-based PAC to spend less time sitting in traffic, and give them more time to make creative ads like this one. You’re welcome Patriot Super PAC: enjoy the improved commute, savings on gas, and Virginia’s new and improved roads,” Martin said.
If Bolling does run it could put Governor McDonnell in a tricky position.
Presently, Bolling serves not only as Lt. Governor but also as the Commonwealth’s Chief Job Creation Officer. Holsworth speculates Bolling may be forced to resign since McDonnell already endorsed Cuccinnelli for governor.
“Governor McDonnell would be in the position of having someone in his own cabinet running against the person who the Governor is now supporting,” Holsworth said.
In the end however the decision rests with Bolling, who will have to calculate if he has the resources and will power to launch what would be a challenging campaign.