Romney to attend former Virginia lieutenant governor Bill Bolling’s annual picnic

This year it’s Burgers with Bill – and Mitt.

The former presidential candidate and Massachusetts governor is expected to attend former lieutenant governor Bill Bolling’s annual shindig next month.

“I really appreciate Mitt coming to Virginia to help me thank my friends for all you’ve done for Jean Ann and me over the years. Stay tuned for more details,” Bolling announced Wednesday on his Facebook page.

Bolling was chairman of both of Romney’s presidential campaigns in Virginia. A Romney aide confirmed that he would attend the picnic.

Unlike past “Burgers with Bill” events, this year it’s an invitation-only event for supporters and friends. In the past, the event has attracted bold-faced names, including Romney and former senator George Allen.

It also doubles as a birthday bash; for the record, he’ll be 57.

Bolling’s political action committee, the Virginia Mainstream Project, will pick up the tab this year. He formed the group one year ago to recruit like-minded Republicans to run for state office.

Bolling was outmaneuvered for the party’s nomination for governor in 2012 by then-attorney general Ken Cuccinelli II, who many in the party considered too extreme for Virginia voters.

A full-fledged Bolling for Governor campaign might have benefited from Romney’s juice. Romney even endorsed Bolling on the presidential campaign trail in Virginia, but walked it back after learning his friend had Republican competition.

Jenna Portnoy covers Virginia politics for The Washington Post.
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