By BOB LEWIS, AP Political Writer RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling will seek re-election next year, forgoing an anticipated run for governor, people familiar with his campaign said Monday.
Bolling will announce his decision at a Capitol Square news conference, said two GOP operatives who did not wish to upstage Bolling's 1:30 p.m. announcement.
His decision not to run for governor combined with former Gov. George Allen's announcement to sit out the governor's race leaves Attorney General Bob McDonnell uncontested for the GOP nomination.
The election, still 20 months away, finds Democrats Brian Moran, a delegate from Alexandria, and state Sen. Creigh Deeds of Bath County jockeying for their party's nomination.
Bolling, 50, served nearly 2½ terms in the Senate from Hanover County before winning a narrow victory for lieutenant governor over former state Sen. Leslie Byrne in 2005.
An anti-tax conservative and protege of former Gov. Jim Gilmore, Bolling found new opportunities this year to exercise the rare discretion his position affords.
Bolling was more strategically important this year in the first legislative session in 12 years with Democrats holding a one-seat majority in the 40-member Senate.
It was Bolling's ruling that the version of the state budget drawn by the Senate Democrats needed passage by a four-fifths majority that briefly ensnared the spending blueprint for government.
Bolling invoked a provision of the state Constitution that required a 32-vote majority because the Senate version of the budget changed the way state lottery proceeds were appropriated. The Constitution directs lottery profits to localities for use in public education.
Bewildered Democrats recessed to discuss Bolling's maneuver. When they returned, they challenged his ruling and overturned it with a simple majority vote.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press