And the endorsement goes to: No one
October 21st, 2013
09:05 AM ET
9 years ago

And the endorsement goes to: No one

Updated 12:44 p.m. ET, 10/21/2013

(CNN) - The right-leaning Richmond Times-Dispatch decided to endorse no candidate in the Virginia gubernatorial race, a little more than two weeks before Election Day.

"The major-party candidates have earned the citizenry's derision," the editorial board wrote. "The third-party alternative has run a more exemplary race yet does not qualify as a suitable option. We cannot in good conscience endorse a candidate for governor."

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The biggest blow goes to Republican nominee and state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who's been behind in the polls and needed a boost as the race winds down to an end on November 5.

Two other major newspapers in the region, The Washington Post and the Virginian-Pilot, both backed Cuccinelli's opponent, Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe.

The Times-Dispatch blasted Cuccinelli for 'rigging' the nominating process by having "his minions" switch the system from a primary to a convention, where conservative activists nominated the attorney general.

As for McAuliffe, the former Democratic National Committee chairman "received the Democratic nomination by default," as being the best candidate on a "weak bench."

The editorial board wrote that if Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling had remained in the race, they would have endorsed him. Bolling dropped out in November, after state GOP officials made the transition from a primary to a convention, which favored the more conservative Cuccinelli. Bolling later considered running as a third party candidate, but decided against it.

The paper praised Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis for not embarrassing himself or insulting the commonwealth, but added "he lacks the experience the job demands."

"Still, a vote for him would not be wasted but would serve notice to Republicans and Democrats that the electorate rejects their surly antics," the board wrote. "Citizens whose votes reflect their ideals do not throw away their ballots."

Carl Tobias, professor of law at the University of Richmond, said the editorial reflects a widely-held view of disenchantment about the Virginia contest.

"People on both ends of the spectrum and in the middle are not very happy...with either candidate," he said. "There's a little bit of hold your-nose-and-vote."

McAuliffe has an advantage over Cuccinelli, according to a recent NBC4/NBC News/Marist poll that showed 46% of Virginia's likely voters support the Democrat, while 38% back the Republican and 9% support Sarvis.

The editorial further elaborated on why it stands against Cuccinelli and McAuliffe, and ultimately concluded that if the board wouldn't urge a family member to vote for any of the candidates, then it couldn't do the same to the paper's readers.

"In the past, The Times-Dispatch has endorsed candidates with varying degrees of enthusiasm," the editorial stated. "We find it impossible to endorse any of the 2013 candidates with even minimal zeal."

The winner of the election will succeed outgoing Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell.

- CNN's Steve Brusk contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2013 • Ken Cuccinelli • Terry McAuliffe • Virginia
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    "The major-party candidates have earned the citizenry's derision," the editorial board wrote. "The third-party alternative has run a more exemplary race yet does not qualify as a suitable option. We cannot in good conscience endorse a candidate for governor."
    Why did I get the impression that someone's trying to discourage people from going to the polls when I firsr read that? In fact, I get that impression everytime that I read it. Remember, this paper may lean to the right, but it also located in the most densely populated area outside of suburban DC, which probably means that it's read by a lot of urban liberals.

    October 21, 2013 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    McAuliffe could lock the race down if he simply ran an ad that focused Cuccinelli's running mate. All that you need to do is to simply play two or three of those video clips floating aorund the internet. Paint them both with the same brush. Look, there he is.

    October 21, 2013 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  3. Tampa Tim

    The Cooch still has voter suppression going for him, and that will make it close.

    October 21, 2013 09:17 am at 9:17 am |
  4. Wake up People!

    Bye, bye Cucchi. No probing for you.

    October 21, 2013 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  5. Marie MD

    I am seeing it as they are endorsing McAuliffe because If they were sure about the va ginal probe, women have no rights AG he would be their choice.

    October 21, 2013 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  6. Data Driven

    Fine, but I suspect they're just hesitant to go on record backing a loser. Switch the poll numbers, and they're endorsing Cuccinelli, no matter how wacky his caveman ideas are.

    October 21, 2013 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  7. The Real Tom Paine

    Take that as a warning, folks. We should elect people to do something other than to posture and to pocket money, but seem incapable of doing so, since the affirmation networks will not allow us to do so. Neither of the major-party candidates is someone that people should be proud of: what they are is the end result of a process where money and/or ideology count more than experience, ability and ideas. Neither the VA or NJ race should be seen as any sort of bellweather event other than to point out the mediocre quality of many of the candidates.

    October 21, 2013 09:28 am at 9:28 am |