The University of Virginia’s political prognosticator Larry Sabato is out with an interesting nugget this morning: State Attorney General positions are the grooming grounds for governorships. He writes, “There’s an old joke about the National Association of Attorneys General—their registered name is supposedly the National Association of Aspiring Governors.”

In Virginia three of the last seven governors have been AGs. In part, this is because Virginia has a very short ballot, electing only the lieutenant governor and attorney general in addition to governor, and the governor is limited to one consecutive four-year term. (Virginia is the only state remaining with such a prohibition.) The other statewide elected officials are naturally considered in line for the statehouse, and they often run flat out for four years to get the promotion.

Virginia State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has made headlines recently with his suit against the federal governemt charging the recently passed healthcare law to be unconstitutional. He recently spoke publicly about the upcoming suit:

“Our focus is not the policies that are included in that bill. Policies are what elections are for. My job is the protection of the Constitution and the laws of Virginia and that is the narrow focus of what we are doing … in our lawsuit against the federal government. Virginia was the first state to pass a law on a bipartisan basis protecting Virginia citizens from being mandated to purchase health insurance. No one here. under Virginia law, can be ordered by anyone to purchase health insurance. Period. Obviously, those two laws are in conflict.”

So, Cuccinelli has put himself front and center. On one side the lowly AG from Thomas Jefferson’s Commonwealth; On the other, the mighty Barack Obama. Will David slay his Goliath? Or is this another swing for Casey up to bat? Imagine, Cuccinelli on the plate in Mudville:

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville — mighty Cuccinelli has struck out.


  • Red State Eddio

    Here in PA, Tom Corbett, current AG, is crushing all comers at this point, and is spanking the Dem alternatives. The primary is in 3 weeks, and he’s the likely R to go up against a weak Dem field.

    • David Kaiser, Editor

      Agreed RSE. I was actually hoping that Sestak would run for Guv instead of taking on Arlen Specter, because he would have been a formidable candidate for Corbett to face.

      But despite being left for dead in the Dem primary, Sestak has closed the gap and actually has a punchers chance of taking down Specter.

      • Troy La Mana

        I want Specter to eek out a win in the primary just so real Republicans can vote him out in November.

  • Jason Wright, Editor

    Nice post, SF. I really think KC could be very formidable. He’s a conservative with northern VA strength. Deeds won’t run again, but Terry McAuliffe probably will. That would be an interesting race.

    What about George Allen?