Former State Senator Russ Potts, a long time Republican who left the party in 2005 to mount an unsuccessful major third party run for governor, unloaded on Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, the Republican nominee for governor, during a round table discussion on the popular D.C. based Kojo Nnamdi Radio Show.
Potts was looking back on the 2013 session with Nnamdi, Washington Post staff writer Fred Kunckle, Christopher Newport Political Science Professor Quentin Kidd and former Del. Kristen Amundson.
Potts was talking about the way Speaker William Powell deftly secured the votes for Governor Bob McDonnell's transportation plan despite the opposition from the conservative wing of the Republican Party. He made the argument that the long term viability of the party is in question if Ken Cuccinelli is elected governor.
Potts said Cuccinelli "could very likely be the most extreme governor not only in the history of Virginia but in America and…is totally out of the mainstream."
Here is the full transcript of his remarks on the topic:
“Well I thought that Bill Howell did a very courageous thing and I believe he’ll withstand the pressure of the extreme wing of my party. I grieve for my party. You know we, unfortunately, we’ve gone off the deep end. I’ve said many times, I didn’t leave the Republican Party, the Republican Party left me. The greatest challenge Speaker Howell has, and reasonable men and women who serve in Richmond, is to fight off the extremism of Ken Cuccinelli, who will be the nominee for my party, who could very likely be the most extreme governor not only in the history of Virginia but in America and…is totally out of the mainstream. You talk about a challenge if you are a Republican in Virginia with Ken Cuccinelli at the top of the ticket. I don’t envy the Bill Howells of the world or any sitting senator or delegate.”
For what is is worth, Potts garnered 2.2% of the vote in 2005. Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling is considering an independent run this year, for many of the same reasons Potts cites in this radio discussion.
Bolling is expected to make his decision by March 14th.
You hear the full discussion from the Kojo Nnamdi Show which airs on WAMU here.