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Bolling set to shape Va. governor's election

Sunday - 3/10/2013, 11:49am  ET

AP Political Writer

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- By the end of this week, Virginia will know whether it has its most credible third-party gubernatorial candidate ever.

And Bill Bolling, a loyal Republican foot soldier most of his life, will know whether he can ever claim a home in the GOP again.

If he runs, Bolling burns all bridges back to the party he has served as a county supervisor, as a state senator and as lieutenant governor the past seven years.

No one with a portfolio as rich as Bolling's has made an independent gubernatorial bid in Virginia. Democratic former Gov. Doug Wilder briefly ran an independent U.S. Senate campaign in 1994.

Bolling faces long odds winning. Of 32 Virginia governors since Reconstruction ended, 26 were Democrats and six were Republicans. None were independent.

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