Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) told his staff late Thursday afternoon that he would run for governor.
“After much prayer and consideration, I have decided to run for governor in 2013,’’ he writes in an e-mail obtained by the Post. “I have always intended to let you know before the media. Shortly after you receive this e-mail, I will be sending a statement to the media announcing my candidacy.”
Cuccinelli will likely face Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling in a GOP primary in June 2013.
"Needless to say, I am very disappointed by Mr. Cuccinelli's decision to run for Governor in 2013,'' Bolling said in a statement. "During the 2009 campaign, and since taking office in 2010, Mr. Cuccinelli had repeatedly stated that he intended to seek re-election as Attorney General in 2013 and that is what I and other Republican leaders had expected him to do. Unfortunately, he has now decided to put his own personal ambition ahead of the best interests of the commonwealth and the Republican Party."
Read Cuccinelli’s full e-mail to his staff:
“You have likely heard in the media the many rumors about an announcement of a run for governor. While I wanted to wait to announce a candidacy until after the General Assembly session, as the rumors swirl, I find it necessary to put them to rest.
After much prayer and consideration, I have decided to run for governor in 2013. I have always intended to let you know before the media. Shortly after you receive this email, I will be sending a statement to the media announcing my candidacy.
Being attorney general is the best job of my life, and working with so many bright and dedicated professionals in this office has made it a true joy.
We have protected vulnerable citizens from fraud, worked to get gangs off the streets through intervention as well as prosecution, saved taxpayers from millions in Medicaid fraud, fought for fair utility prices for consumers, provided our clients with official legal opinions that have never been overruled by any court, and stood up to the federal government when it broke the law and infringed on the sovereignty of Virginia and the liberty of her people.
We will continue this work together until the last day of my term. Just as I had intended not to resign as attorney general to run for a second term, I will not resign as attorney general to run for governor. The people of Virginia trusted me to be their attorney general, and I intend to give them their full four years. I also think it is important to see these lawsuits against the federal government all the way through, as they are unprecedented battles for liberty in our lifetimes.
I am committed to you and to the citizens of this commonwealth to leading this office and making this job my priority. I have no right to ask the voters for a promotion if I cannot continue to do my current job well.
I know many of you are wondering why I decided to run for governor instead of for re-election. As so many former attorneys general know from being legal counsel to every agency of state government, this job gives you tremendous insight and perspective on the inner workings of state government that no other job can provide.
Being governor of the commonwealth and all its agencies is truly a massive task, and with only four years to do it, there is little time for on-the-job training. That is especially true when Virginia and the entire country are facing unprecedented economic challenges, a bullying federal government, and financially strapped citizens who are demanding that we ensure every dollar taken from their families to pay for government is a dollar that is spent wisely. When Governor McDonnell finishes his successful term, I am convinced his successor needs to hit the ground running to keep the momentum moving forward in the face of federal and economic challenges.
I hope you have known me long enough to know that I do this out of my love for our commonwealth and to further the principles on which this country was founded. Although I originally expected to serve as attorney general for another term, my job is that of public servant, and I feel that two years from now, I can best serve the people of Virginia from the governor’s office.
Thank you for your dedication to this office and to the people we serve. I look forward to our continued work together and our successes during the remaining two years of my term.