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Rick Boucher Not Interested in Run for Governor

Tim Craig

U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher, a Democrat who represents Southwest Virginia, said today he has no plans to run for governor in 2009.

Some Democrats have floated Boucher's name as a possible candidate because they think the party needs to find a someone who can appeal to rural voters.

But Boucher said in an interview he's happy - for now - in Congress.

"I have given no thought to it," said Boucher, who was reelected last year with 68 percent of the vote in a Republican-leaning district. "I have received a number of phone calls from people who suggested there is a unique opportunity for somebody who has a strong standing in rural Virginia, and it is an intriguing idea, but honestly I have given no thought to it."

Boucher notes that the 2009 governor's race marks the first time in nearly three decades that Democrats do not have an "heir apparent" for governor. In previous election cycles, Boucher noted, a Democratic lieutenant governor or attorney general has been angling for the job.

"There is a wide opportunity for those who have ambition in that direction.The truth of the matter is, I don't have any ambition in that direction," said Boucher, who noted Congress gives him a platform to address energy and telecommunications issues.

Boucher mentioned former congressman L.F. Payne as a possible candidate. Boucher also speculated that a Democrat "no one has heard of" could emerge as a candidate.

But even though he's not making plans to run, Boucher said a good politician "never closes the door."

By Tim Craig  |  December 7, 2007; 5:32 PM ET
Categories:  Election 2009 , Tim Craig  
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