Virginia is not the place to be for voters craving a year off from high-profile elections. With the races of 2012 behind us, attention shifts to the top statewide offices in the commonwealth.
Last week, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R) announced his exit from next year’s governor’s race, presumably paving the way for Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to secure his party’s nomination.
Yet while Republicans may be spared infighting for the top of the ticket, that may not be the case in the race for the state’s second-in-command. Seven candidates will seek the GOP nomination for lieutenant governor, compared with two for the Democrats.
The race to succeed Cuccinelli as the state’s top attorney currently features state Sen. Mark Herring (D) of Loudoun as the favorite to take his party’s nomination. On the right, two veteran elected officials are battling for the GOP nomination for attorney general.
Here’s a current list of candidates in the running for the 2013 races of governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.
Ken Cuccinelli Cuccinelli played spoiler to the 2009 handshake deal made between Bolling and Gov. Bob McDonnell that was supposed to lead to Bolling’s nomination in 2013. Cuccinelli, a former state senator and the favorite candidate of conservative Tea Partiers, has made headlines during his term for his lawsuit challenging the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and his skepticism of climate change.
Tareq Salahi The White House party crasher, former vintner and controversial quasi-philanthropist appears to be serious in his bid to become the state’s CEO.
Terry McAuliffe A former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, McAuliffe was a candidate in 2009 before losing his party’s nomination to state Sen. Creigh Deeds. McAuliffe is well-known among state Democrats and has strong ties to presidents Obama and Clinton.
Steve Martin Serving in either the state’s House of Delegates or Senate since 1988, Martin currently represents parts of Chesterfield County and the city of Colonial Heights outside of Richmond in the state Senate.
Scott Lingamfelter A former U.S. Army Colonel, the Woodbridge resident has served in the House of Delegates since 2002.
Jeannemarie Devolites Davis Davis formerly served in both houses of the Virginia General Assembly and is married to former Congressman Tom Davis. She also served as the governor-appointed director of the Virginia Liaison Office in Washington D.C.
Corey Stewart An attorney, Stewart has served as chairman of the Prince William Board of Supervisors since 2007.
Susan Stimpson A former state budget analyst, Stimpson holds the top post on the Stafford County Board of Supervisors and was previously chair of the county’s GOP committee.
Earl “E.W.” Jackson A pastor, businessman and conservative activists, Jackson is coming off a primary bid for one of Virginia’s U.S. Senate seats. Jackson lost his party’s primary to former governor and Sen. George Allen.
Pete Snyder A Northern Virginia entrepreneur, Snyder served this year as the chairman of Virginia Victory Campaign, the statewide organization for GOP nominee Mitt Romney and other Republican candidates.
Aneesh Chopra The Northern Virginia resident was the first U.S. federal chief technology officer and Virginia’s fourth secretary of technology.
Ralph Northam A pediatric neurologist from the Norfolk area, Northam has served in the Senate of Virginia since 2008.
Mark Obenshain The Harrisonburg-area lawyer is one of the leading Republican voices in the state Senate.
Rob Bell Also a lawyer, Bell has represented a Piedmont-region district in the House of Delegates since 2002.
Mark Herring The state senator from Loudoun and attorney remains the favorite to earn his party’s nomination. Herring has garnered the endorsement of numerous top Democrats in the state, including some who were considering running for the post themselves.
Justin Fairfax A former federal prosecutor, Fairfax is making his first bid for statewide office.