Bill Bolling
39th Lieutenant Governor of Virginia
In office
January 14, 2006 – January 11, 2014
GovernorTim Kaine
Bob McDonnell
Preceded byTim Kaine
Succeeded byRalph Northam
Member of the Virginia Senate
from the 4th district
In office
January 10, 1996 – November 29, 2005
Preceded byElmo Cross
Succeeded byRyan McDougle
Personal details
William Troy Bolling

(1957-06-15) June 15, 1957 (age 63)
Sistersville, West Virginia, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Jean Kincaid
EducationUniversity of Charleston (BS)

William Troy Bolling (born June 15, 1957) is an American businessman, politician and educator who served as the 39th Lieutenant Governor of Virginia.

Running as a Republican, he was elected twice to the position by defeating his Democratic opponent in both the 2005 and 2009 general elections. He was the first Lieutenant Governor in the Commonwealth of Virginia to serve two consecutive terms since Don Beyer. He was succeeded by Democrat Ralph Northam after the 2013 general election.

Early life, education, and early career

Bolling was born on June 15, 1957 in Sistersville, West Virginia. He was raised in the coal fields of southwest Virginia and southern West Virginia. His father was a surface coal miner, and his mother was a homemaker. As a 15-year-old, he volunteered to work on the re-election campaign of Republican Governor of West Virginia Arch Moore. He graduated from the University of Charleston (West Virginia) in 1978 with a B.S. degree in Political Science and was the first member of his family to graduate from college. He moved to Mechanicsville, Virginia in 1981 when he accepted a job with a Virginia insurance company.

Political career

Hanover County Board of Supervisors

Bolling first ran for elected office in 1991 for a position on the Hanover County Board of Supervisors. Bolling won that office and served as a member of the Board until 1995. While a member, Bolling also served as the Chairman of the Board of supervisors.

Virginia Senate

In 1995, Bolling was elected to the Senate of Virginia in a highly contested race against twenty year Democratic incumbent Elmo G. Cross, Jr. for the 4th Senate District seat. Bolling defeated Cross by 574 votes out of 50,000 cast.[1] The district then included Caroline, Essex, Hanover, King and Queen, King William, Middlesex, counties, as well as a part of Spotsylvania County. However, this district had been trending Republican for some time at the national level. Proving this, Bolling was unopposed for reelection in 1999 and 2003.

As a member of the General Assembly, Bolling served as Chairman of the Joint Republican Caucus, the Virginia Republican Senatorial Committee, Chairman of the Senate's sub-committee on Health Care, the Commission on the Future of Virginia's Environment, and the Chesapeake Bay Commission.

Lieutenant Governor of Virginia


In 2005, Bolling ran for the office of Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. In the Republican primary, he defeated Sean Connaughton with 58% of the vote.[2]

In the general election, he defeated Democratic nominee and state Senator Leslie Larkin Byrne 50%-49%.[3] He won even though the Republican nominee for governor Jerry Kilgore lost the gubernatorial election.

In 2009, Bolling ran for re-election. He defeated Democratic nominee Jody Wagner with 57% of the vote.[4]


Kaine administration

Bolling was inaugurated as lieutenant governor on January 14, 2006 in Williamsburg, Virginia, along with the other Executive Branch officers, including Democratic Governor Tim Kaine and Attorney General Bob McDonnell. Upon his re-election in 2009, Bolling became the first Virginia lieutenant governor since Don Beyer to be elected to two consecutive terms.[5]

As lieutenant governor, Bolling promoted multiple programs, including his September program focused on encouraging a healthy and active life, his Ending Cervical Cancer in our Lifetime program focused on raising awareness about Cervical Cancer and HPV, and his Helping Virginians Breathe Easier campaign focused on asthma awareness.

Also as lieutenant governor, Bolling put forth a statewide initiative, "100 Ideas for the Future of Virginia". This two-year program focused on reaching out to the public for feedback and ideas through a series of town hall meetings, mailings, and an integrated web site. This program focused on promoting feedback from the people of Virginia to develop a long term strategy for addressing issues like education, transportation, public safety, health care, protecting the environment, reforming government, and more.

McDonnell administration

Bolling was one of newly elected Governor McDonnell's first cabinet members, and was appointed as Chief Jobs Creation Officer; overseeing the state’s economic development programs. Regarding creation of the position, McDonnell stated, "I'm going to turn him into the busiest lieutenant governor in the nation."[6]

In March 2010, Bolling announced, on behalf of Governor McDonnell, $10 million in rebates for home owners and small businesses to reduce energy costs and to increase usage of solar and wind energy.[7] In June 2010, Bolling announced $800,000 from the Virginia government to James Madison University to further research in wind energy, including "turbine testing, research and curriculum"[8]

2013 gubernatorial campaign

Main article: Virginia gubernatorial election, 2013

In early 2008, Bolling and then-Attorney General McDonnell struck a deal in which Bolling agreed to run for re-election as lieutenant governor to allow McDonnell to run unopposed for governor in 2009, in exchange for McDonnell's support for Bolling for governor in 2013.[9] The deal was widely known and as such, Bolling was effectively running for governor since 2009,[10] and in April 2010, Bolling filed the necessary paperwork to run in 2013.[11] Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, elected alongside McDonnell and Bolling in 2009, stated that he intended to run for re-election as attorney general in 2013, but did not rule out running for governor.[12] In December 2011, Cuccinelli announced to his staff that he would run against Bolling for governor in 2013; the news went public, and in response, Bolling issued a statement accusing Cuccinelli of putting "his own personal ambition ahead of the best interests of the commonwealth and the Republican Party."[13] Cuccinelli's announcement came two days before the annual statewide conference of Virginia Republicans, at which Bolling and his staff expressed being upset with Cuccinelli's decision.[14]

In 2012, Bolling was the Virginia state Chairman of Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign,[15] a position he hoped to use to curry favor from a potential Romney administration and increase his own name recognition among state Republicans.[9] Through the second quarter of 2012, Bolling had a significant edge in fundraising over Cuccinelli.[16] However, Bolling's hopes of becoming the Republican nominee were dealt a serious setback in June 2012 when the Republican Party of Virginia's State Central Committee decided to nominate candidates for statewide office in a closed party convention, rather than an open statewide primary. It was felt that a convention would favor Cuccinelli because Republican conventions in Virginia are typically dominated by conservatives, who backed Cuccinelli over the more moderate Bolling.[17][18]

On November 28, 2012, Bolling announced that he was suspending his campaign. He said that "the decision to change the method of nomination from a primary to a convention created too many obstacles for us to overcome", and that he didn't want to "create deep divisions within our party."[19] He refused to endorse Cuccinelli, saying, "I have serious reservations about his ability to effectively and responsibly lead our state."[20]

After suspending his campaign for the Republican nomination, Bolling considered running as an independent, but decided against it.[21] Bolling also rejected the possibility of a write-in effort, citing an inability to raise enough money to run a successful campaign.[22] However, Bolling continued to comment on the race and the policy proposals of both the Democratic nominee, Terry McAuliffe, and the Republican nominee, Ken Cuccinelli. During the campaign, McAuliffe informally offered Bolling a position in his administration,[23] but Bolling was ultimately never appointed.

Electoral history

Virginia Lieutenant Governor Election, 2009
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bill Bolling (incumbent) 1,106,793 56.51
Democratic Jody Wagner 850,111 43.40
Independent Write-in candidates 1,569 0.08
Total votes 1,958,473 100
Virginia Lieutenant Governor Election, 2005
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bill Bolling 979,265 50.47
Democratic Leslie L. Byrne 956,906 49.32
Independent Write-in candidates 4,065 0.21
Total votes 1,940,236 100
Virginia Senate General Election, 2003
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bill Bolling (incumbent) 27,646 99.44
Independent Write-in candidates 155 0.66
Total votes 27,801 100
Virginia Senate General Election, 1999
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bill Bolling (incumbent) 38,136 99.69
Independent Write-in candidates 117 0.31
Total votes 38,253 100
Virginia Senate General Election, 1995
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Bill Bolling 26,957 50.54
Democratic Elmo G. Cross, Jr. (incumbent) 26,383 49.46
Independent Write-in candidates 2 0.00
Total votes 53,342 100

Business career

Professionally, Bolling spent his entire career in the insurance business. He served as a Vice President with Riggs, Counselman, Michaels and Downes, one of the nation’s independent insurance agencies, but took a leave of absence from the firm in 2018 to pursue a career in teaching.

In October of 2018 Bolling accepted an appointment as a Senior Fellow at James Madison University, where he did extensive guest lecturing in political science and served as an advisor to the president of the university. Bolling finished his fellowship at JMU in June of 2019 and returned to his home in Richmond. Currently, Bolling teaches political science at George Mason University, Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Richmond.

Personal life

Bolling is married to Jean Ann Kincaid, whom he met in college. They have two children. Matthew Bolling received a degree in computer engineering from Virginia Tech in 2006. Kevin Bolling graduated with a degree in Business from James Madison University in 2010.


  1. ^ "November 7, 1995 General Elections". November 7, 1995. Archived from the original on March 28, 2012. Retrieved November 19, 2013.
  2. ^ "VA Lt. Governor - R Primary Race - Jun 14, 2005". Our Campaigns. Retrieved November 19, 2013.
  3. ^ "VA Lt. Governor Race - Nov 08, 2005". Our Campaigns. Retrieved November 19, 2013.
  4. ^ "VA Lt. Governor Race - Nov 03, 2009". Our Campaigns. Retrieved November 19, 2013.
  5. ^ "Bill Bolling Re-Elected Lt. Governor of Virginia". The Charlottesville Newsplex. November 3, 2009. Retrieved February 7, 2016.
  6. ^ Bob Lewis, "McDonnel Names 3 to Cabinet-Level Posts," Associated Press, December 10, 2009, Archived November 17, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ "Virginia to use $10 million in rebates to improve energy efficiency". Roanoke, Virginia: WSLS 10. March 22, 2010. Archived from the original on August 7, 2011. Retrieved September 16, 2010.
  8. ^ Bearing Drift (June 17, 2010). "Bolling announces 800K to JMU for wind energy research". Retrieved September 16, 2010.
  9. ^ a b "Bolling ties 2013 hopes to Romney". December 20, 2011. Retrieved November 19, 2013.
  10. ^ Kumar, Anita (June 7, 2012). "Rep. Eric Cantor to endorse Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling over Atty. Gen. Ken Cuccinelli in governor's race". Retrieved November 19, 2013.
  11. ^ Kumar, Anita. "Bolling forms committee to run for governor in 2013". Retrieved November 19, 2013.
  12. ^ Barnes, Fred (August 16, 2011). "Cuccinelli denies plans for Senate run". Retrieved November 19, 2013.
  13. ^ Kumar, Anita (December 1, 2011). "Ken Cuccinelli announces he will run for Va. governor in 2013". Retrieved November 19, 2013.
  14. ^ "Cuccinelli's bid for Va. governor upsets Bolling and his backers". December 4, 2011. Retrieved November 19, 2013.
  15. ^ Kunkle, Fredrick (August 1, 2011). "Va. Lt. Gov. Bolling selected as Romney's state campaign chair". Retrieved November 19, 2013.
  16. ^ Vozzella, Laura (July 17, 2012). "Ken Cuccinelli's fundraising lags behind Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling's". Retrieved November 19, 2013.
  17. ^ The Associated Press (June 16, 2012). "Virginia GOP picks closed convention for 2013". Retrieved November 19, 2013.
  18. ^ "Bolling to exit Va. gov race". November 28, 2012. Retrieved November 19, 2013.
  19. ^ "Bolling dropping out of race for Va. governor". The Virginian-Pilot. November 28, 2012.
  20. ^ Haines, Errin & Laura Vozzella (November 28, 2012). "Narrowing field could leave stark choice in Va. governor's race". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
  21. ^ Burns, Alexander (March 12, 2013). "Bill Bolling rejects run as independent in Virginia governor's race". Politico. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  22. ^ Delesline, Nate (August 19, 2013). "Bolling: Race for governor could discourage moderate and independent voters". The Daily Progress. Retrieved August 28, 2013.
  23. ^ Contorno, Steve (May 7, 2013). "Bill Billing rips into Ken Cuccinelli and Terry McAuliffe tax plans". The Washington Examiner. Retrieved July 2, 2013.
Senate of Virginia
Preceded by
Elmo Cross
Member of the Virginia Senate
from the 4th district

Succeeded by
Ryan McDougle
Political offices
Preceded by
Tim Kaine
Lieutenant Governor of Virginia
Succeeded by
Ralph Northam