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Cuccinelli Is First to Enter AG Race

Steve Fehr

State Sen. Ken Cuccinelli (R-Fairfax), one of Northern Virginia's few conservative elected officials with deep roots in the conservative wing of the Republican Party, announced plans today to run for state attorney general in 2009.

Cuccinelli, 39, is a proven campaigner who narrowly won reelection last fall in western Fairfax County despite the region's increasing tendency to choose Democrats at the polls. He touted his conservative credentials on such issues as illegal immigration, gun rights, the death penalty and abortion as evidence that he can court Republican votes and round out a conservative GOP ticket that will also feature Robert F. McDonnell, the current attorney general, for governor, and Lt. Gov. William T. Bolling, who will seek reelection next year.

"We have the opportunity to have the strongest ticket that Republicans have fielded in years, many years," Cuccinelli said. "And I believe I can round out that ticket, bringing in my history of conservative leadership and a strong grassroots network based here in Northern Virginia."

Cuccinelli is the first Republican to announce plans to run, but he is sure to have competition for the GOP nomination in addition to the general election in 2009. Other names circulating as possible contenders include former state lawmaker and federal appointee Paul Harris, one of Virginia's few African-American Republican leaders; David Foster, chairman of the Arlington County School Board; and state Del. Robert B. Bell (R-Charlottesville).

Cuccinelli is a partner in the law firm of Cuccinelli & Day. He was first elected to the Senate in a 2002 special election. He serves on the Senate Courts of Justice Committee.

By Steve Fehr  |  March 31, 2008; 11:52 AM ET
Categories:  Amy Gardner , Election 2009 , Ken Cuccinelli  
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