Cuccinelli political operation building statewide network
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli's political operation has tapped volunteer coordinators in 100 of Virginia's 134 counties and cities and plans to have a coordinator in every jurisdiction in the state by the end of the year, his political director said today.
The coordinators attend monthly meetings of local Republican committees and reach out to other conservative groups in their areas to provide updates on Cuccinelli's work, said political director Noah Wall.
"Ken cares a great deal about making sure the grass roots are informed about what he's doing," Wall said. "These people serve the essential role of making sure people are in the loop."
The effort to build a statewide network of supporters -- separate from the Republican establishment or Gov. Bob McDonnell's (R) political committee -- represents an aggressive political effort by an attorney general who has not yet been in office a year. It is bound to fuel speculation that Cuccinelli has his eye on the governor's mansion or perhaps is contemplating a run for the U.S. Senate.
If Cuccinelli ran for governor in three years, he would face Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R) for the Republican nomination.
Bolling has begun raising money for a gubernatorial run and has also been working to build grass-roots support with local Republican committees. Bolling chief of staff Randy Marcus said the lieutenant governor is setting up a similar network and has 121 "Bolling Brigade Leaders" in 90 jurisdictions.
"It's kind of the basic blocking and tackling of putting together a political organization," Marcus said.
Wall did not deny that the statewide network of active volunteers would be helpful for Cuccinelli in future elections. But he said the coordinators should not be read as a sign that Cuccinelli has launched a gubernatorial or senatorial campaign.
The attorney general, who has built a national profile by promoting conservative causes, has said repeatedly that he intends to run for reelection in 2013. However, he's also always refused to rule out a run for other offices.
"Whatever Ken decides to do, including running for reelection, it serves a key function. It's good practice," Wall said. "It makes a world of difference to reach out to people when you're not running for something and when you don't need anything from them."
| September 21, 2010; 5:22 PM ET
Categories: Ken Cuccinelli, Rosalind Helderman
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