Richmond, Va. -

A prominent pro-business Republican legislator is urging Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling not to make an independent bid for governor this year.

State Sen. Walter Stosch of Henrico, a retired accountant with strong business backing, released a letter dated Tuesday in which he asks Bolling to forgo the race so Republicans can unite behind presumed GOP nominee Ken Cuccinelli.

Bolling, a Republican, abandoned his gubernatorial quest in November after concluding he could not beat Cuccinelli in a closed GOP convention dominated by Cuccinelli's conservative backers.

Bolling said he believes Cuccinelli, a tea party darling, is taking the GOP in the wrong direction. Bolling set a March 14 deadline for announcing his plans.

A Bolling candidacy would create a three-way race with Cuccinelli and Democrat Terry McAuliffe, who has no primary challenger.