RICHMOND, Va. - Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell apparently has his running mate picked out for his 2009 run at Governor.
That's because Bill Bolling, the current Republican Lieutenant Governor under Democratic Gov. Tim Kaine, said Monday he has no interest of moving up to the top spot.
"While it would be a great honor to serve as Governor of Virginia someday, 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," said Bolling, who noted that Lt. Gov. is a part-time position that allows him to keep his regular job. He is a vice president with Riggs, Councilman, Michaels and Downes, one of the nation's largest independent insurance agencies.
McDonnell, also a Republican, says he hopes both are successful next year.
"The Republican Party will move into the 2009 statewide elections united," McDonnell said. "As I begin to prepare for my campaign for Governor, I look forward to running next year with Bill as a ticket. We will remain strong partners in the effort to improve opportunity, freedom and justice for the people of Virginia.
"I have no doubt that, together, we will unite our party, we will unite our Commonwealth, and we will createa a safer, stronger, more prosperous Virginia."
Bolling, a West Virginia native who graduated from the University of Charleston, said the decision not run was a tough one to make.
"It is difficult to have a goal and be so close to achieving that goal, only to have it deferred to another day," Bolling said. "Nonetheless, that is sometimes the cards life deals us, and we have to play them to the best of our ability."
McDonnell called him a "consistent and determined champion of positive conservative ideas in Virginia."
"We speak regularly on everything from our families to state policy," McDonnell added. "Bill is someone whose opinion I place in the highest regard. We are friends who share the same values, and the same commitment to solving problems, making government work better, and improving quality of life for all our citizens."