Thursday, February 28, 2013

News-Virginian on Bill Bolling run for governor: 'We would welcome it'

One thing's for sure: Bill Bolling has people paying attention. Today's Waynesboro News-Virginian's editorial is all about him and the question of whether he will run for governor as an independent candidate.

This is where Ronald Reagan's famous quote comes into play when he famously said, "I didn't leave the Democratic Party; the party left me."

Wonder if Bolling ever feels that way? Seems from feedback that a large section of Republicans in the Commonwealth are feeling that way about the Republican Party for a variety of reasons not the least of which is this: a conservative is not a libertarian, and vice versa.

The News-Virginian editorial appears to join others in their appreciation of the LG's even-keeled governing style. He may not be the flashiest man in the room but he can rally a crowd with that booming voice that was heard at October's Mitt Romney rally in Fishersville, "HELLO, SHENANDOAH VALLEY!"

In the editorial, the News-Virginian wrote:
The reason it seemed unfortunate that Bolling was dropping out was that he has been heavily involved in a success of Gov. Bob McDonnell's administration: drawing jobs to Virginia.

And he has been particularly supportive of Waynesboro. For a time, it seemed that barely a week went by when Bolling wasn't here, either to announce grant funding for the city or to celebrate with a business in the community that was hiring, which is obviously no small feat in this economy.

These days, though, Bolling is known for a question: Will he, or won’t he?

That is, the gentleman from Hanover County is weighing an independent bid for the governor’s mansion.

He got out of the race last year because it appeared he was at a competitive disadvantage to Republican rival Ken Cuccinelli. The state GOP chose to select its gubernatorial nominee in a convention rather than in a primary election, and Cuccinelli, Virginia’s attorney general, was seen as the favorite in a convention setting, where fewer people would decide the winner. Bolling, on the other hand, would have more luck in a primary, the thinking went.

Without Bolling’s challenge, Cuccinelli has become the Republican standard bearer to the Democratic Party’s Terry McAuliffe.

But supporters have urged Bolling to make an independent run. He’s seen as the moderate alternative to Cuccinelli’s more extreme brand of conservatism, and as a longtime public servant in the Old Dominion whereas McAuliffe is viewed by some as a carpetbagger.
While the Lieutenant Governor talks with supporters about funding for an independent run -- no easy task considering he's going up against McAuliffe aka Bill Clinton aka Barack Obama and the multi-millions they can bring to the race -- the voices continue from editorial boards around the Commonwealth. They suggest that Bolling could be the middle-ground candidate needed in a state that has turned purple and now boasts two Democratic U.S. Senators after twice voting for a Democratic president. The shining light has been Republican leadership at the top of state government along with a House of Delegates majority and a tied State Senate.

Bolling has said he will announce a decision two weeks from today on March 14. It cannot be an easy decision. Running as an independent is tough when the Party demands loyalty of its candidates and grassroots leaders. However, some areas of the Commonwealth have seen the rise of the independents in the past few years. If Bolling ran, he would become a leader for independents to rally around, sending fear down the spines of other candidates.

The News-Virginian noted they would welcome Bolling into the race. I have a feeling there are many others who would, too.

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