By Scott Wise
RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Virginia Lt. Governor Bill Bolling has suspended his campaign for governor.
In an email to supporters, Bolling said he decided to suspend his campaign after the Republican party changed the nomination process from a primary election to a closed party convention. Political experts said the closed party convention method benefited fellow Republican candidate Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.
“For the past several months my campaign team has worked hard to restructure our campaign to effectively compete in the convention process,” Bolling wrote in the email. “While we have made a great deal of progress, I reluctantly concluded that the decision to change the method of nomination from a primary to a convention created too many obstacles for us to overcome.”
In addition, Bolling said he wanted to avoid dividing the Republican party leading up to the gubernatorial election.
“I was concerned that a prolonged campaign between Mr. Cuccinelli and me could create deep divisions within our party,” he said. “The convention process would have forced Republican activists to take sides against their friends in local committees all across our state. The wounds that can develop from that type of process are often difficult to heal.”
Bolling said he and his wife would discuss his political future in the coming days.
Cuccinelli said he was “honored and proud” to serve with Bolling over the last decade.
“Throughout this race, I have kept to the premise that Bill and I are allies in governance, even if temporary competitors in politics,” Cuccinelli said in a statement. “Bill Bolling is a good man — a true public servant who has worked hard throughout his career to make Virginia a better place to live and raise our families. I cannot speak highly enough of his service.”