Jerry Kilgore will become the third consecutive Republican attorney general in Virginia to step down from his job in order to run for governor, Bob Lewis writes for the AP. He’s doing so at a remarkably early point, though — February 1, nearly a year before the end of the term to which he was elected. This is intentional, since Kilgore (like Lt. Governor Tim Kaine, his opponent) is prohibited from raising money during the General Assembly session. If he steps down during the session, he gets to raise money while Kaine is in a black-out period. And, as icing on the cake, the GA appoints his replacement, rather than Democratic Governor Mark Warner. Kilgore figures that he can pull ahead of Kaine, who raised $2.1M to Kilgore’s $2M in the last reporting period.
I’ve got to love the quote from Mo Elleithee, Kaine’s spokesman:
“Three years ago Jerry Kilgore made a promise to Virginians. Today, he broke that promise. Considering how weak and ineffective he’s been in office, I wonder if anyone will even notice he’s gone.”
Kilgore seems to be, as Chris Graham puts it in the Augusta Free Press, “feeling the heat.”