McDonnell resigning AG post

John O'Brien Feb. 3, 2009, 12:00pm


RICHMOND, Va. (Legal Newsline) - Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell will step down from his post this month in preparation for his gubernatorial campaign.

The first-term Republican will resign Feb. 20, noting that every attorney general since 1985 who has also been running for governor has stepped down to ensure taxpayers will have an attorney general whose mind is focused fully on work.

"Personally this was a very difficult decision to make, but it is the right one for our Commonwealth," McDonnell said.

"A campaign for governor demands a full-time candidate. The Office of the Attorney General is the Commonwealth's law firm and demands a full time attorney general.

"Historically Democratic and Republican attorneys general have stepped down from this post in order to run for governor. It is the right, and proper thing to do."

McDonnell is urging the General Assembly to appoint Chief Deputy Attorney General Bill Mims to replace him. Mims is a former state senator.

McDonnell noted his work on Internet safety, environmental protection, guarding the Second Amendment and dealing with prescription painkiller OxyContin addicts as highlights.

Candidates for this year's attorney general election are Democrat Steve Shannon of the House of Delegates and Republicans Ken Cuccinelli, of the state Senate, and John Brownlee, a former U.S. Attorney.

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