Changes to GOP primary could affect Cuccinelli vs. Bolling race

Posted at 12:56 PM, May 29, 2012
and last updated 2012-05-29 13:21:56-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and Lt. Governor Bill Bolling are two of the Commonwealth's most visible politicians.  They have both announced they are vying for Virginia's top job in 2013, competing to land the GOP nomination for governor. 

But changes to the political process could be on the horizon for the Virginia Republican Party, and some believe it could impact the outcome of the upcoming gubernatorial race.

As it stands, the Republican Party of Virginia's State Central Committee is looking to change the nomination process from a primary to a convention.

In a primary anyone, regardless of your party affiliation can vote for any candidate.  But with a GOP convention, it would draw conservative party supporters. 

With the state's gubernatorial race approaching, CBS 6 Political Analyst Dr. Bob Holsworth said it will benefit Lt. Governor Bill Bolling if things remain the same--with a primary.  The reason, centers around Bolling attracting more independent and conservative Democrats. 

But Holsworth said a change to the political process could ultimately pave the way for die-hard Republican suppoters of Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.

"Most people believe if it switches to a convention this would give an added advantage to Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli because he has such fervent supporters among the tea party and social conservatives," said Holsworth.  "And the thought is they may be more likely to get on a bus and come to Richmond to vote on a Saturday morning.  So while this is really inside baseball stuff it could have a lot of impact on how Virginia chooses it`s next governor."

But as it stands, in October the State Central Committee voted to keep things as they are--to hold a primary.  However the proposed changes are expected to once again go up for discussion in mid-June when the committee gathers in Richmond.