Purcellville Mayor Bob Lazaro, a moderate Republican, announced today his endorsement of Democrat Terry McAuliffe in the widening gubernatorial race between McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli.
Well-established in Loudoun County and Northern Virginia government circles, Lazaro is the current chairman of the Northern Virginia Regional Commission and co-chair of the Virginia Municipal League's Legislative Committee.
"As a lifelong Republican, I am supporting Terry McAuliffe because he will work with members of both parties to find bipartisan solutions to the challenges Virginia faces,” Lazaro said. “Terry's mainstream plan to grow our economy, invest in transportation infrastructure and strengthen our education systems, will strengthen the communities of Loudoun County and create more opportunities for the next generation of Virginians."
Lazaro's endorsement plays in line with two trends in the 2013 Virginia election cycle: first, McAuliffe securing scores of supporters from across the aisle; and second, the Republican mayor's maverick streak of the past year.
Lazaro is supporting Democrat Mary Daniel in the House of Delegates 33rd District race, and at the end of 2012, he was quick to sign on to the Michael Bloomberg-led Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition, a move admonished by the Loudoun County Republican Committee.
Elected mayor in a nonpartisan race, Lazaro has publicly endorsed Republican and Democratic candidates in past years.
Responding to the endorsement, Cuccinelli campaign spokeswoman Anna Nix said her candidate too has gained allies across political lines.
"Ken Cuccinelli is proud to have broad bipartisan support from people like Democrat Richmond School Board member Tichi Eppes, who recently recorded an ad on his behalf. Just this weekend, lifelong Democrat Page Snyder hosted a rally for Ken at her home in Prince William County," Nix said. "She's supporting Ken because she knows he's the only candidate who will approach every issue honestly and with conviction."
Cuccinelli continues to slide in the polls with Election Day less than a month away. The latest RealClearPolitics.com average
poll shows McAuliffe with a more than six-point advantage.
This story has been updated from an earlier version.