Attorney General Jerry Kilgore announced his resignation today Jan. 18 so that he can concentrate on his campaign for governor.
The past four attorney generals have resigned for the same reason.
Kilgore is stepping down at this time for two reasons. First, by resigning during the General Assembly session the Republican dominated Assembly rather than Democrat Governor Warner will pick his successor.
Second, under Virginia law, candidates who are running for office are forbidden to raise money during the General Assembly session, so now Kilgore gets a month head start on presumptive opponent Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine in the fundraising race.
Lately, Kaine and Kilgore have been neck and neck in terms of fundraising. But Kaine recently pulled ahead with a five million dollar promise from the Democratic National Committee.
Kilgore will be working hard to match that, while at the same time advising the general assembly on his successor.
"It's most likely the general assembly will select someone from Kilgores' office so that they preserve some measure of continuity," said Matt Smythe from UVA's Center for Politics. "Right now Deputy Attorney General Judith Jagdmann is probably the leading candidate for after Kilgore leaves."
Kaine and Kilgore aren't the official candidates for governor yet. They will be if they win their primaries in June.