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Virginia Politics
Posted at 10:08 AM ET, 02/15/2012

Virginia’s top Republicans returning to the party — gradually

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli appeared before the Prince William County Republican Committee this week to ask to be reinstated in his local party.

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R). (BOB BROWN - AP)
Cuccinelli — and every other Republican who endorsed former Del. Bill Janis, the Republican turned independent who ran for the post of commonwealth’s attorney in Henrico County in November -- was removed from their local committee.

That includes Cuccinelli’s gubernatorial rival, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.). The Republican Party of Virginia’s guidelines says any Republican who supports a non-Republican in a contested race will be automatically removed from the rolls of his or her local committee.

Cuccinelli was reinstated by a unanimous vote. Noah Wall, Cuccinelli’s political director, said the attorney general did not have to appear but he chose to do so.

Bolling’s office says he will be on a long list to be reinstated when the Hanover County committee meets at the end of the month. He does not plan to appear.

Janis, who had served as the Republican whip in the House of Delegates, ran against Matthew Geary, the embattled Republican candidate for commonwealth’s attorney in Henrico County whom party leaders abandoned after he admitted to an extramarital affair.

Janis lined up support from Virginia’s top Republicans, including Cantor, Cuccinelli, Bolling and legislators — some on the ballot in November — and prominent GOP activists.

Many asked others to give money to him or have given him money themselves, including Cantor ($10,000), according to the Virginia Public Access Project, a nonpartisan tracker of money in politics.

Democrat Shannon Taylor won the race. Janis was hired by Gov. Bob McDonnell’s administration. Geary later committed suicide.

Dave Rexrode, executive director of the state GOP, said Henrico — where Cantor is a member — had already reinstated its members. McDonnell, chairman of the Republican Governors Association, did not weigh in on the race.

By  |  10:08 AM ET, 02/15/2012

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