McDonnell to step down as AG

Published 11:53 am Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Attorney General Bob McDonnell announced this morning that he will resign effective Feb. 20.

McDonnell said he is resigning in order to campaign for governor in earnest.

“Personally this was a very difficult decision to make, but it is the right one for our commonwealth,” the Republican said. “A campaign for governor demands a full-time candidate. The Office of the Attorney General is the commonwealth’s law firm and demands a full-time attorney general. Historically, Democratic and Republican attorneys general have stepped down from this post in order to run for governor. It is the right and proper thing to do.”

McDonnell said he is asking the General Assembly to appoint Chief Deputy Attorney General Bill Mims, a former state senator from Loudoun County, as the state’s 45th attorney general. The responsibility for choosing a new attorney general due to a resignation rests with the General Assembly if a vacancy occurs during the legislative session. It rests with the governor if the vacancy occurs when the General Assembly is not in session.