December 01, 2011 - 2:23 pm

BY OLYMPIA MEOLA

Gov. Bob McDonnell is affirming his support for Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling in his campaign for governor in 2013, saying he prefers a scenario in which both Bolling and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli continue to serve in statewide office together.

In a statement released today, following media reports that Cuccinelli is apparently poised to announce a bid for the governorship, McDonnell called both Cuccinelli and Bolling “dedicated public servants” who he enjoys working closely with on a daily basis.

"While I do prefer a scenario in which both men continue to serve in statewide office together going forward, I certainly respect the right of the attorney general to make his own decision regarding future races."

"Since early 2008, I’ve been clear that I will strongly support Bill Bolling for Governor in 2013. Bill is a trusted advisor and a close, personal friend. As Lieutenant Governor, Bill has been a key member of our administration," McDonnell says in a statement.

In 2009, Bolling deferred to McDonnell for the Republican gubernatorial nomination. McDonnell returned the loyalty by backing Bolling as heir apparent for governor in 2013. McDonnell has also moved to elevate Bolling’s profile by creating the “chief job creation officer” post and giving him responsibility for economic expansion and drawing new jobs to the state.

"Serving as our Chief Job Creation Officer, Bill has been tireless and successful in his work to bring more jobs and economic opportunities to the Commonwealth," McDonnell said. "I look forward to supporting Bill in his campaign for Governor."