BY JIM NOLAN
Bill Bolling plans to celebrate his 55th birthday next week with a burger.
But the lieutenant governor — rocked by a recent poll that shows Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli with a commanding lead in the race for the GOP nomination for governor in 2013 — may have received an early present from U.S. House Majority Leader Eric I. Cantor, R-7th.
Cantor is poised to endorse Bolling’s bid for the top spot on the GOP ticket, according to unnamed sources cited in a Washington Post report.
Cantor’s office confirmed that the congressman is scheduled to appear with Bolling at a fundraiser next Thursday at the Northern Virginia home of former Rep. Tom Davis, but would not comment on whether an endorsement was forthcoming. The day before, Bolling will hold his annual birthday fundraiser, “Burgers with Bill,” in Henrico County.
Cuccinelli, meanwhile, is holding a fundraising dinner in Tysons Corner Wednesday and a luncheon at the Omni Hotel in downtown Richmond Thursday.
The campaign chow-down’s are merely an appetizer for the real red meat main event: the Republican state central committee meeting in Richmond on Friday. That’s when grassroots supporters, who claimed additional seats during district elections last month, are expected to push the party to switch from a primary to a convention to determine its statewide slate for 2013.
Bolling, and his primary backer — Gov. Bob McDonnell — want the party to stick to a primary. Cuccinelli supporters would like to see a convention, where most observers agree the attorney general would have an advantage in securing the nomination.