AP Political Writer
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Ken Cuccinelli rejected a precedent observed by at least nine Virginia attorneys general since 1957 who stepped down to run for governor.
Cuccinelli chose to stay in office, and it's become a lightning rod for his Republican gubernatorial bid.
By staying put, Cuccinelli has exposed his himself to several conflict-of-interest claims since March. He's drawing his $150,000 annual state salary while campaigning. He has had to extract his office from criminal and civil litigation involving a personal benefactor -- Star Scientific Inc. -- and from prosecuting a former governor's mansion chef. And his office has been scorched by claims it collaborated with energy companies being sued by Virginians alleging they were cheated out of gas royalties. The companies gave Cuccinelli's campaign more than $110,000.
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