Cuccinelli defends decision to run for governor

RICHMOND (WWBT)-  Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is speaking out about what led to his decision to announce his plans to run for governor in 2013.

Cuccinelli's original plan was to wait until after the Virginia legislative session, but the Washington Post got the jump on his plans. That meant he had to reveal his intentions, before he got a chance to talk to Lt. Governor Bill Bolling.

Now, just short of two years before voters go to the polls to elect a new governor, a potentially difficult political storm is brewing.

"The decision I was put to was, do we just try to put the genie back in the bottle or do we run with it?" said Cuccinelli.

Cuccinelli was forced to make a move after the Post broke the story. He reacted by informing his staff and then the press, but not his potential primary opponent, Lt. Governor Bolling.

"He wouldn't return my calls on Friday," Cuccinelli said of Bolling.  "It makes it kind of hard to talk to somebody when that's happened."

Bolling said he was unable to take Cuccinelli's call because he was busy at the national Lt. Governor's conference in Florida.  In a statement he accused the attorney general of quote  "putting his own personal ambition ahead of the best interests of the Commonwealth and the Republican Party."

Cuccinelli sees things a bit differently.

"I think voters are pretty well fed up with being told who their candidates are going to be," he said.

The Attorney General believes whoever emerges from what is sure to be a bitter primary will be a stronger general election candidate.

But it is clear he and Bolling have a long way to go before they are sharing a stage as a team once again.

"Eventually his chief of staff called mine and said 'we don't have anything to talk about' and that's unfortunate," he said.

To put in perspective just how early this announcement is, when Lt. Governor Bolling and then- Attorney General Bob McDonnell brokered a deal that led to McDonnell running for governor. It didn't come until Easter. In this election cycle, we aren't even to Christmas yet.

You can read more about the race for Virginia governor on our political blog,