Ken Cuccinelli is back.
The Republican former attorney general of Virginia, who last year lost a bid for governor in a high-profile match-up against Democrat Terry McAuliffe, will take the reins as president of Senate Conservatives Fund, the group announced Wednesday.
"Ken Cuccinelli is the perfect person to continue and expand on what Jim DeMint started with SCF," said Matt Hoskins, the group's executive director, invoking Heritage Foundation President DeMint, who founded SCF. "He's a principled fighter who is respected by the grassroots and is passionate about electing the next generation of conservative leaders."
“I've always had tremendous respect for this organization and applaud its members for working to elect principled conservatives," Cuccinelli said. "SCF has given our nation's grassroots a powerful voice and I’m excited to join them in the fight.”
The pairing, poignantly, brings together two sagging conservative brands in SCF and Cuccinelli.
In previous election cycles a rousing force for insurgent conservative candidates, SCF has this year faced aggressive pushback from Washington Republicans fed up with seeing incumbents challenged and tired of diverting resources to defend them. As its candidates in most Senate races have faltered, the SCF has turned its attention also to lower-profile House races, hoping to show it can still affect outcomes.
Cuccinelli, for his part, was viewed as one of the great Republican disappointments of the 2013 election, when the party had high hopes for winning the governor's mansion in Virginia. But Cuccinelli's bid was inconsistent and riddled with missteps, and support from national Republican groups was halting.
Cuccinelli won his party's nomination in that race against the odds, with support from activists at a party convention, rather than through a traditional primary process. His unapologetic conservatism appealed greatly to outside groups on the right, and makes him a less-surprising choice to lead one of the most anti-establishment among them.