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Ken Cuccinelli withdraws name from Virginia Supreme Court consideration

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RICHMOND, Va. -- Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has withdrawn his name for consideration to fill an empty seat on the Virginia Supreme Court, according Republican leaders in the Virginia Senate. Cuccinelli, who ran for governor of Virginia in 2013, said Tuesday he was "humbled and honored" to be considered for the position. He said the consideration came as a surprise and he and his wife and they would have to discuss the matter.

"Together, we will prayerfully review this possibility in light of our family’s needs and whether or not this is the best way for us to contribute to making Virginia a better place to live going forward," Cuccinelli said in a statement posted on Facebook.

Republican leaders said Cuccinelli eventually determined the position was not right for him.

State Senator Ryan McDougle said Judge Stephen McCullough would likely be appointed to the Virginia Supreme Court on Thursday morning.

"There is unanimous support within the House Republican Caucus to elect Court of Appeals Judge Stephen R. McCullough to the Supreme Court. Judge McCullough has served Virginia with distinction for over 19 years," Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell said in a statement. "He is an experienced appellate judge, who has previously been endorsed for the Supreme Court by every major bar association. Prior to his election to the Court of Appeals, he served in the Attorney General’s office as the Solicitor General and as an Assistant Attorney General. He is a steady and consistent jurist who will apply the law as it is written."

Protesters spoke out against Cuccinelli

Dozens of people filled the Capitol entrance on Bank Street Wednesday morning to protest the Cuccinelli nomination. Progress VA Executive Director Anna Scholl lead chants that called for legislators to vote against the Cuccinelli nomination.

"He’s manipulated the law to attack women's health and access to healthcare, to attack LGBT Virginians, and to attack the environment," Scholl said.

State Senator Glen Sturtevant, who backed Cuccinelli's nomination, called Cuccinelli "eminently qualified" for the job.

This is a developing story.