What’s He Going To Announce?Apr 09, 2008
(Because of a technical malfunction that crashed this site on April 4, and took down every post and comment after March 14, the following has been re-posted. It was originally written March 28, 2008.)
Here's what tells me Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-37, Fairfax) will announce his intentions to seek the Republican nomination:
He's been meeting with people around the state for a few weeks now. He's been getting a good welcome. He's got a head start, so why not capitalize on it?
The announcement that Lt. Governor Bill Bolling will seek re-election in 2009 instead of the governorship, leaves the GOP united in the top two spots, so all attention will be on the third spot. Anyone interested better get going now and lock up money and endorsements from those who were prepared to focus on a big time gubernatorial nomination fight, but who now are freed up to focus elsewhere.
With a special session on transportation looming, and members not allowed to fund raise while in session, announce now and raise what you can.
He's announcing in Fairfax. He's from that area. He's won in that area, even when targeted. He'll want to emphasize that he can win that area in a statewide run and help bring balance to the GOP ticket (Bolling = Richmond, Attorney General Bob McDonnell = Hampton Roads, although raised in N.Va.). It also says to his constituents he's running to give the state's most populous region a voice in highest levels of state government after being shutout the last four years, which gives him more dimension than just being the conservative darling. Plus, he can show off his legions of grassroots volunteers that continuously get him elected in a targeted district. He's promised that if he runs, it will be a grassroots campaign.
Ah, his district. He won re-election by about 100 votes in what now is a Democrat district by the numbers. It won't take much redrawing of the lines by the new Democrat majority to make it near impossible to win in 2011. So why not give statewide a shot?
The media advisory cites in a short biographyof him notes that he is a partner in a law firm he founded and that "He serves on the Senate Courts of Justice Committee and has worked closely with the Attorney General's office on key public safety and public interest legislation," all of which sound like precursors and prerequisites for a run to the AG's office. No mention of the Local Government, Transportation or the Rehabilitation and Social Services Committees on which he also sits. There's an old saying: "Everyone on Courts of Justice thinks they can, or should be, attorney general."
He's been escalating the frequency and variance of topics - such as the Heller vs. District of Columbia Second Amendment case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court - of his e-mail newsletter and other communication efforts.
Here's what tells me Senator Cuccinelli is going to say he's not running for attorney general:
He has been meeting people around the state. But the key phrasing in the media advisory was the joint decision reached by he and his wife. After having another child a couple months ago, a statewide run won't help domestically, especially with longer regular and more special sessions of the General Assembly (another one forthcoming on transportation) every year already keeping him away from work and home.
With the top two spots settled, he may feel obligated to clear the deck sooner rather than later to be fair to grassroots activists and his GOP colleagues seeking the nod, a la the LG.
With longer and more special sessions, during which members can't raise money, why deal with that hassle?
He's announcing in Fairfax. The protocol when running for statewide office is to come down yonder to the Holy City, to the Temple on the Hill itself, pose in front of an iconic statue or portrait, and state your case. Why come down here and waste a good day at the office just to say "no"?
His district might be redrawn to add more Republican voters to secure a neighboring incumbent Dem.
Sending a media advisory late Friday for a Monday news conference? Can you say "buried on B-14?? It also doesn't mention his membership on the Transportation Committee. Isn't transportation the number one issue in Northern Virginia?
The verdict: My guess is that he's running. Tune in Monday.