VA Delegates and Senators to Cuccinelli: “Virginia Deserves a Full Time Attorney...

VA Delegates and Senators to Cuccinelli: “Virginia Deserves a Full Time Attorney General”


From the Virginia House Democratic caucus: 

Richmond, VA – Today Democratic members of the Virginia General Assembly delivered the letter below to Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli asking him to resign his office in order to ensure that Virginians have a full-time attorney general as he ramps up his campaign for Governor.

The previous six attorneys general have all resigned in advance of their campaigns, recognizing that the demands of the office are too great to meet while campaigning for higher office. 


Dear Attorney General Cuccinelli,

As people who, like you, were elected to serve the families of this great Commonwealth to the best of our ability, we write to you today to convey a pressing concern about your stated plan to remain in your office even as the demands of your campaign for Governor of Virginia increase over the course of this year.


As you well know, nearly every attorney general over the past several decades (including each of the last six), have faced the same choice you face now and determined that running for governor is not compatible with honoring his or her commitment to the people of Virginia to faithfully execute the duties of the office you now hold.


As he announced his resignation, former Governor and Attorney General Jim Gilmore said, “I have concluded an office of this importance should have no part-time campaigners.”


Another Republican Attorney General Jerry Kilgore said of his similar decision, “Virginia needs an attorney general who can fully focus on this office, it's the right thing to do.”

Finally, before his resignation, our current Governor Robert McDonnell said, “The office is a very difficult job. It demands a full-time attorney general to do the hard work that's required.”


The hard work that's required of the attorney general to keep Virginians safe, protect consumers and small businesses, and offer sound legal counsel and representation to state government demands more than a part-time commitment. That is why we write to you today to ask respectfully that you resign your office in order to ensure that Virginians will have an attorney general who is focused full-time on putting their best interests first.


At the heart of our request is what's right for the people we all serve. If running the state's law firm were not a position that required full-time attention, the people of Virginia would not be asked to proffer the resources to allow you and your staff to work full time without other income. Seeing however that they do pay the Attorney General a full-time salary, they deserve a full-time commitment to the affairs they hired you to conduct.


None of the undersigned would begrudge you the right to seek the governor's office this year. Nor would they disagree that your interests are best served by running a vigorous campaign that includes an aggressive travel schedule, hours devoted to meeting Virginians and raising money and any other activity that you deem necessary to achieve your goal. Many Virginians, included we who write you today, would however object to you performing those activities at the expense of the position with which the taxpayers have entrusted you.


It is our hope that you will consider our earnest request to follow the example of your predecessors of both parties and turn the responsibilities of your office over to someone who can give them his or her undivided attention. The role of the Attorney General is too significant, and the challenges we face together as a Commonwealth are too great to allow the demands of your campaign for Governor to overrun the needs of the Virginians we all serve.


Thank you for your consideration of this urgent matter.




Senator Louise Lucas

Senator Mamie Locke

Senator Ralph Northam 

Senator Adam Ebbin

David J. Toscano, House Democratic Leader

Mark Sickles, House Democratic Caucus Chair 

Delegate Ken Plum

Delegate Robert Brink

Delegate Jennifer McClellan

Delegate Charniele Herring

Delegate Scott Surovell

Delegate Patrick Hope  

  • lowkell

    Northam Calls on Cuccinelli to Resign

    Richmond, VA-Today Democratic Senator Ralph Northam, candidate for Lieutenant Governor, called on Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to resign over his comments advocating for opponents of federal contraception laws to “go to jail” to fight the law.

    “It is disgraceful the top prosecutor in Virginia would ever encourage folks to break the law, period. Furthermore, the reality is that many women-of both parties-favor coverage for contraception by a high margin. Cuccinelli’s statement calls into question if he can administer the laws he is sworn to uphold and I believe he should step down from his position immediately.”

    On January 9th, Cuccinelli remarked on a syndicated Iowa radio show: “My local bishop said he told a group, ‘Well, you know, I told a group I’m ready to go to jail,’ and I told him, ‘Bishop, don’t take this personally – you need to go to jail.”

    Former attorneys general who have run for governor have commonly resigned, citing they would not have time to do both jobs. Those include Jim Gilmore, Jerry Kilgore, and Bob McDonnell.

    Ralph Northam is a physician, an Army veteran, and a third-generation native of the Virginia’s Eastern Shore. He represents the Eastern Shore, Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Mathews County in the Virginia Senate.