Northern Virginia businessman and Republican gubernatorial candidate Tareq Salahi, famous as an alleged White House Party crasher and for starring in the reality TV show "Real Housewives of DC," issued the following statement on Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling's decision to suspend his campaign for the 2013 GOP gubernatorial nomination:
"Lt. Governor Bill Bolling is a fine man who has served Virginia well and continues to do so. Rising from local government to the state level, he has a sharp and rare understanding of the various regions of Virginia and their unique needs. He has selflessly worked, not for his own agenda, but for what is best for the residents of Virginia.
"It is unfortunate that Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli continues to bully Virginians rather than work for a united ticket. Instead of allowing Virginia voters to go to the polls and choose their candidate in an open primary, the decision was made to go with a closed convention, a cowardly and undemocratic maneuver.
"This type of 'bullying' is characteristic of the AG's behavior and what has led to many recent Republican losses. The focus must be on what's best for Virginians, not what's best for one politicians ambitions.
"Many areas of Virginia are facing high unemployment rates more than twice the state average; families are struggling, farmers and small business owners are hurting and many Virginians are scared for their future and that of their children. Those things should be our priorities, as should political leadership that act in the best interest for the people, not bitter in-fighting among Republicans at the local party level that is not only divisive, but closed and inaccessible to the majority of everyday Virginia voters.
"I hereby confirm that I will remain in the race for Governor and continue to seek the Republican nomination, because I believe in putting people, not politics, first, and because Virginia needs a common-sense leader, not an extremist that promotes division. I am in this to win it – and either way, I will be on the ballot for voters to have the chance to elect the right leader that believes in putting Virginians rights first. I believe in keeping government out of the bedroom and out of the way for businesses to succeed in Virginia.
"Many thanks to Lt. Governor Bolling for his leadership, selflessness, tremendous public service and graciousness. He is truly a gentleman and friend to Virginia. I welcome Lt. Governor Bolling support and I agree at this point it would be best for Virginians if Mr. Cucinnelli were to bow out of the race! The future of the Republican Party is not in our rear view mirror, and its time for fresh and new creative leadership!"