What if ….

… Mitt Romney gets elected and Gov. Bob McDonnell resigns to take an appointment in his administration? Well, we all know that would elevate LG Bill Bolling to the governor’s mansion. But what of the LG position?

Julian Walker of The Virginian-Pilot provides the answer.

Article V, Section 7 vests with the governor the “power to fill vacancies in all offices of the Commonwealth for the filling of which the Constitution and laws make no other provision.”

As Walker points out, there is nothing in the state constitution to allow for an election to fill the office, so it would fall to Bolling to do so. From a political standpoint, I’d expect Bolling to pick someone that would shore up his chances for being the Republican nominee for governor in 2013.

I wouldn’t expect AG Ken Cuccinelli to just give up his quest for the nomination. So Bolling’s pick would have to be someone who could help him win delegates at the convention, maybe a high-profile Cuccinelli supporter who switches his support to Bolling in exchange.

Regardless, I think the legislature needs to get to work on this glaring hole in the constitution. This is the second time in as many elections that Virginia’s governor has come close to being named to the presidential ticket. The selection of LG should not be left to one person – it should be put to the voters.


3 thoughts on “What if ….

  1. I would prefer to believe that, after this election, Governor Romney will have more time to spend at home with his family and Governor McDonnell will finish his term as originally planned.

  2. I disagree that it should be put to the voters for less than half a term, and maybe not even then. Perhaps a system similar to replacing a VP would be more appropriate. Nevertheless, I agree that it should not be left to the sole discretion of the Governor.

  3. This brings up an interesting contradiction. The Governor is allowed to pick the LG in this particular situation. Presumably, he or she would pick someone of the same party.

    However, in the general election, the G and LG can come from different parties.

    I know that other states have “tickets”, but Virginia does not. Should this be examined as well?

    Quite honestly, I’ve always favored abolishing the office of LG. Tie votes would die in the Senate and the AG would become the Governor in the event that the office became vacant. It would certainly save the taxpayers some costs.

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