Editorial: For McAuliffe
With all the attack ads going back and forth (and so much more mudslinging, we’re sure, yet to come), it may be hard to get enthusiastically behind either of the two leading candidates for Virginia governor.
The question voters need to ask themselves before they enter the polling booths on Nov. 5 is which man—Ken Cuccinelli or Terry McAuliffe—has the right temperament and skills to lead this Commonwealth for the next four years.
While McAuliffe does have his negatives, he has shown himself to be willing to work in a bipartisan manner in the best interest of all Virginians. His work to secure the support of Democratic legislators for Gov. McDonnell’s landmark transportation funding legislation is an example of this spirit of cooperation for the greater good.
The flood of support he has received from prominent Republicans, as well as Democrats, is quite telling. In this region alone, McAuliffe is being backed by six out of the seven mayors of Hampton Roads. Among Republicans, he has received the endorsement of former state senators Brandon Bell, John Chichester and Russ Potts, former governor Linwood Holton, and Bob Bloxom, the state’s former Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry and member of the House of Delegates, where he represented Mathews County.
Turning our eye to the other side of the Potomac, it is clear to see what Virginia does not need—a divisive ideologue with an agenda that is opposed to government in general, someone unwilling to compromise. The result of that dysfunction is quite apparent. Cuccinelli appears to be of that mold. His embrace of Sen. Ted Cruz—a leading actor in bringing about the shutdown—at the Family Foundation’s 2013 Gala in Richmond, is just the most recent indication.
One of the most powerful members of the state’s GOP delegation, current Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, has expressed his "serious reservations" about Cuccinelli’s ability to effectively and responsibly lead the state. And while not coming out in favor of McAuliffe, it appears that Bolling has been leaning that way.
We also have serious reservations about the Attorney General’s ability to lead the Commonwealth. And for that reason, we endorse Terry McAuliffe for governor.
A hometown leader?
On a side note, it looks as though Virginia will once again have a non-native as its chief executive officer. Both McAuliffe and Cuccinelli hail from the Northeast; McAuliffe growing up in Syracuse, N.Y., and Cuccinelli spending his formative years in Edison, N.J.
Virginians have to look to 1997 for the last time that a native Virginian was elected to the state’s highest office, Richmond-born Jim Gilmore. Although, to be fair, current governor Bob McDonnell, although born in Philadelphia, moved to Virginia at the age of 1 and grew up in Fairfax County.