Gov. Bob McDonnell issued the following statement on Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling's decision to suspend his 2013 gubernatorial campaign:
"I am saddened that my great friend Bill Bolling has decided not to seek the Republican nomination for Governor next year. Bill has been a strong governing partner over the past three years and I know this decision was not easy for him. Bill is a conservative statesmen committed to bringing people together to find solutions and do what is right, an exceptional quality for an individual in public office. He would have been a very good Governor.
I've known Bill for many years, since we began serving as legislators in the General Assembly in the early 1990's. Beginning in 2006, we served together as Attorney General and Lieutenant Governor. That fact put us on what, in most circumstances, would have been a path to an unavoidable electoral showdown. But in 2008, when our Party was suffering through a string of losses and was in need of unity to move forward, Bill took an incredibly magnanimous and selfless step. He offered to run for re-election as Lieutenant Governor in 2009, support my campaign for Governor, and run and govern as a team. I committed to him then that I would support him for Governor in 2013. Bill's move eliminated a potentially costly and divisive inter-party fight. And it played a major role in ensuring a united, reinvigorated Republican Party in 2009 that swept all three statewide offices by historical margins. Those Republican wins in 2009 were replicated in 2010 for Congress and in 2011 in the state legislature. That string of Republican success was put in motion in large part by the selfless actions of Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling. Virginia Republicans owe Bill a debt of gratitude for his commitment to our Party and its principles.
More importantly, every Virginian, in every region and of every political persuasion, owes a debt of gratitude to Bill Bolling for his work on behalf of our state. As Lieutenant Governor, and as our Chief Jobs Creation Officer, he has always put the needs of the citizens of this Commonwealth ahead of any and everything else. As the Administration official overseeing our efforts to help the private sector grow and create more good paying jobs, his record speaks for itself. Since we took office in January 2010 unemployment has fallen from 7.2% to 5.7% and over 135,000 net new jobs have been created in our state. Bill Bolling gets results. There hasn't been anyone more dedicated to the mission of getting our economy back on track and Virginians back to work than Bill Bolling. That record would have made him a formidable general election candidate for Governor. I'm sorry he won't get to share his record, and his positive vision, with the voters of Virginia next year.
I have spoken to Bill about his decision. I know he believes it is the right one. I have also told Bill how much this Commonwealth needs him to stay involved in public life in the years ahead. And I know he is not done advocating positive conservative ideas. Bill is a smart and principled leader of character. I sincerely thank him for his service to Virginia.
Now, as we prepare for the 2013 campaign, I look forward to helping elect Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli as the next Governor of Virginia."