Virginia Newspaper Endorses 'None of the Above' for Governor

October 22, 2013

The words that follow should not come as a surprise. During recent months, numerous editorials in The Times-Dispatch have lamented the gubernatorial campaign.

The major-party candidates have earned the citizenry’s derision. 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.

This does not gladden us. Circumstance has brought us to this pass. This marks, we believe, the first time in modern Virginia that The Times-Dispatch has not endorsed a gubernatorial nominee.

The displeasure with the gubernatorial contenders does not apply to the rest of the statewide tickets, as the editorials below suggest.

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli rigged the process for the Republican nomination when his minions changed the system from a primary to a convention, which they considered more likely to produce their desired outcome. The switch mocked Cuccinelli’s advertised fealty to first principles. The expression of raw power would have delighted sachems of Tammany Hall. Virginia does not welcome an in-your-face governor.

McAuliffe received the Democratic nomination by default. His bid for the 2009 nod failed miserably. A weak bench left him as the only one in 2013’s game. Republican gerrymandering contributed to this. When they redrew electoral maps after the 2010 census, Republicans in the House of Delegates eviscerated the district held by Ward Armstrong, floor leader of the chamber’s Democrats.

If Armstrong had not lost his seat, he would have rated as a formidable candidate for governor. The Times-Dispatch would have endorsed him over Cuccinelli; we would have endorsed Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling over McAuliffe.

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