Bob McDonnell to headline fundraisers for Ken Cuccinelli

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Local,Virginia,Steve Contorno

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell will headline a pair of fundraisers in January for Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli -- the man who thwarted McDonnell's succession plans.

Cuccinelli's gubernatorial campaign announced Tuesday that McDonnell will be the special guest at events in Newport News and Richmond. The cost of attending ranges from $50 to $10,000.

"Next November will be upon us before we know it, and we have to move quickly to get our campaign ready for what we know the Democrats will be throwing our way," Cuccinelli told supporters in an email.

Until last month, McDonnell was a key backer of Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling's bid to be the Republican nominee for governor in 2013. But Bolling suspended his campaign and is now considering whether to run as an independent against Cuccinelli and presumptive Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe.

McDonnell and Bolling campaigned as a team in 2009 after Bolling chose to avoid a head-to-head showdown against McDonnell for the state's top job. In exchange, McDonnell promised to endorse Bolling as his successor in 2013.

Those plans were spoiled last year when Cuccinelli announced he would run for governor. Bolling's chances grew even slimmer when Cuccinelli's supporters took control of the state GOP's governing body and switched the nominating process from a primary to a convention.

Conventions, which draw the most ardent party supporters, favor Cuccinelli and his base of conservative activists.

Since Bolling's exit, McDonnell vowed to fight for the GOP ticket and has supported Cuccinelli in hopes of keeping a Republican in the governor's mansion.

scontorno@washingtonexaminer.com

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