Virginia’s Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli injected himself into the controversy over the failure of several Republican candidates to access the presidential primary ballot. Cuccinelli planned to petition the state legislature to change the rules to allow anyone who qualifies for federal matching funds to get listed on the March 6th ballot. Today, it seems that Cuccinelli has had a change of heart, according to a statement released less than an hour ago and e-mailed to us from his office:
Statement from Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli on changing Virginia’s ballot access law for the March primary:
“I obviously feel very strongly that Virginia needs to change its ballot access requirements for our statewide elections. However, after working through different scenarios with Republican and Democratic leaders to attempt to make changes in time for the 2012 Presidential election, my concern grows that we cannot find a way to make such changes fair to the Romney and Paul campaigns that qualified even with Virginia’s burdensome system. A further critical factor that I must consider is that changing the rules midstream is inconsistent with respecting and preserving the rule of law – something I am particularly sensitive to as Virginia’s attorney general.
“My intentions have never focused on which candidates would be benefited or harmed, rather I have focused on what is best for Virginia’s citizens, as hundreds of thousands of Virginians who should have been able to make their choices among the full field of presidential primary contenders have had their number of choices reduced significantly.