Santorum to endorse Cuccinelli in VA gubernatorial race
Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum Friday will endorse state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia's gubernatorial race, two sources confirm to CNN.
"I have known Ken for years and consider him not only a strong leader for conservative principles but a dear friend who I have been proud to stand side-by-side with in the fights crucial to the future of our nation," Santorum said a statement to be released Friday from Patriot Voices PAC, the political action committee he chairs. The statement was obtained by CNN Thursday night.
"Ken's conservative leadership will serve the Commonwealth of Virginia well and will be an example for state executives across this country. From before the Revolution itself, the governorship of Virginia has been held by some of the greatest defenders of America's foundational principles, and I am excited to support Ken's candidacy to help him continue this tradition as Virginia's next governor."
In his endorsement, Santorum touts Cuccinelli's "reputation as a committed conservative." Both tea party favorites, Santorum's endorsement does not come as a surprise but may provide an early, high-profile lift for the former Virginia state senator.
After Republican Lt. Governor Bill Boiling ended his campaign in November, the race is expected to come down to Cuccinelli and former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe, who announced his second bid for Virginia governor last month.
The winner of next November's election will succeed the state's current governor, Republican Bob McDonnell, who is term-limited. State law prevents Virginia governors from serving consecutive terms. New Jersey is the only other state to have a gubernatorial race next year.
The Washington Post first reported Santorum's endorsement.
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