RICHMOND (AP) -- Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling is not going to make an independent bid for governor of Virginia.

Bolling made the announcement in an e-mail to supporters Tuesday, more than 3 1/2 months after folding his Republican candidacy for the office in November.

In the end, Bolling wrote, his decision came down to the daunting task an independent candidate faces raising money without the help of a major party and the fact that the lifelong Republican would have to forever sever his ties to the GOP.

A campaign by Bolling would have been a major obstacle to unchallenged GOP candidate Ken Cuccinelli, possibly diluting the conservative vote in Cuccinelli's race against Democrat Terry McAuliffe.

Bolling had questioned whether Cuccinelli's starkly conservative positions were the right direction for the Republican Party.

In a statement by Gov. McDonnell he called Bolling a longtime and trusted friend.

'Bill will continue to remain a valued and integral member of our team in the final year of our Administration. I will continue to seek his counsel and we will continue to work together to get results for Virginia. I know that Bill will continue making significant contributions through his public service,' said McDonnell.

AP-WF-03-12-13 1527GMT

Read or Share this story: