Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling of Virginia will announce Wednesday that he is dropping his 2013 bid for governor, according to reports from Politico and CNN. The move would make Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, a tea party star, the favorite for the Republican nomination. On the Democratic side, former DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe is likely to be the nominee.
Bolling, now in his second term as lieutenant governor, was widely seen as the underdog against the conservative Cuccinelli, whose supporters engineered a move to change the 2013 nominating process from a primary to a convention. Conservatives typically dominate Virginia GOP conventions.
Bolling has the support of top Republicans including Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.