McDonnell to headline Cuccinelli fundraisers

Now that his first choice  for the next governor has dropped out, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is making good on his promise to help Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli succeed him in the governor’s mansion in 2013.

Cuccinelli’s campaign on Monday announced that McDonnell will headline two fundraisers in early January to help raise money for the upcoming battle with Democrat Terry McAuliffe.

McDonnell will appear at a luncheon reception at the Marriott in Newport News on January 3, and at a cocktail reception at the Westin in Richmond on Jan. 8.

Tickets for the Newport News event range from $75 for lunch to $10,000 for 10 tickets and a seat at the table with the attorney general. The Richmond event has a $50 to $10,000 tariff.

McDonnell had supported Lt. Governor Bill Bolling for governor, payback for Bolling’s decision in 2009 to run for reelection rather than challenge McDonnell for the GOP nomination.

But Bolling withdrew his candidacy earlier this month, citing his reduced chance of winning given the change in nominating process from an open statewide primary to a nominating convention — a change pushed through by a Cuccinelli supporters who took control of the GOP state central committee earlier this year .

Bolling has toyed with a possible independent bid, and showed evidence of an independent streak last week by coming out against efforts to lifting the statewide ban on uranium mining.

But McDonnell’s appearance on Cuccinelli’s behalf makes clear that Bolling would face any such bid without his greatest political ally.