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LTM Editorial: The Times-Mirror endorses McAuliffe for governor

The radically conservative nature of the Republican ticket this year leads us to favor the Democrats for statewide office, Terry McAuliffe for governor, Ralph Northam for lieutenant governor and Mark Herring for attorney general.

There has been reticence by many given the choice for governor this year. Even so, you vote for the choices you have in front of you. We endorse Terry McAuliffe for governor. Having prospered for four years under the pro-business focus of Gov. Bob McDonnell, McAuliffe’s hyper-focus on economic issues is one we’re comfortable with. His push for expanding resources at the community college system is one to be lauded and he has taken a solid, reasonable approach on the issues of the day.

The criticism laid against McAuliffe has landed largely on his reputation as a salesman and deal-maker. Ranked among the best states for business, we must continue attracting large businesses to the commonwealth. To do that, the state needs a governor who is comfortable in a corporate boardroom pitching the virtues of the Old Dominion. Virginia needs someone like McAuliffe to be a salesman for the commonwealth. Whether or not his overtures will be accepted, he is also a man likely to extend a hand on bipartisan compromise. For those concerned with his lack of legislative experience, we point to the success of Sen. Mark Warner, who likewise was without experience as an elected official before his term as governor.

Ken Cuccinelli is a man of strong principles and conservative values. However, despite his final stretch attempt to recast himself as devoted to job growth and economic recovery, his tenure as attorney general demonstrates that he cannot resist placing his own ideological concerns above the business of governing. Whether it’s conducting an independent investigation into climate change research, attempting to limit nondiscrimination policies for gays and lesbians at colleges and universities or his continued push to limit women’s options on abortion, Cuccinelli cannot divorce himself from social issues and an economic platform of lowering taxes without specified budget cuts is suspect. His tendency toward the crusade du jour makes him ill equipped to serve as a mediator between political parties, an Achilles heel shared by far too many of our public officials today.

The choice for lieutenant governor appears easy. Ralph Northam is an experienced legislator with a level demeanor and a desire to reach across the aisle to improve the commonwealth. His experience in the Virginia Senate should prove invaluable upon inheriting an evenly divided body. A pediatric neurologist by trade, we’re eager to see his contribution to future debates on health care and Medicaid expansion. Alternatively, to call the campaign of E.W. Jackson disappointing would be an understatement. Accusing his opponent of making the race all about social issues, Jackson has continued to stand behind an ever-expanding string of extremist comments. He appears more interested in finding a podium to speak his mind than an opportunity to serve.

For attorney general, we choose Mark Herring. We’ve watched Herring’s work as state senator representing Loudoun and Fairfax. He has fought to protect the elderly from financial abuse, supported the region on transportation issues and worked across party lines for his constituents. More important, Herring cares deeply about each and every issue he espouses and understands the human cost in bad legislation and missed opportunities. Our sole regret is that should he win, Loudoun wouldn’t have Herring to represent us in the General Assembly.

Mark Obenshain has a strong record on public safety legislation, but his introduction of the personhood bill gives us serious pause. It leads us to believe that an Attorney General Obenshain would be as activist as the Cuccinelli administration ending this term.

Endorsements for the House of Delegates

Two important issues for Northern Virginia are transportation and bipartisanship. The recent government shutdown serves as a grim reminder of the perils of political idealism at the expense of finding a workable solution. And being able to get from point A to point B remains a challenge for our region. The two issues converged this year with the passage of the transportation bill in the General Assembly. While not a perfect bill, the political reality is that it was the first transportation funding reform in decades. It was also the last possible moment to complete the task as neither gubernatorial hopeful would have had the political clout to push through the compromise at the beginning of their term.

House of Delegates candidates were graded harshly for being unable to reach across party lines and recognize the need for transportation reform sooner rather than later.

Among Republicans, we have chosen to endorse Randy Minchew in the 10th District, Tag Greason in the 32nd, Jim LeMunyon in the 67th and Tom Rust in the 86th.

We support Del. Randy Minchew for a second term in the House of Delegates. A fixture in the Leesburg legal and political establishment, Minchew understands the district and the structure of government. He has also shown the ability to examine both sides of an issue to make the smart choice. While he certainly shows promise, Democrat Monte Johnson requires a bit more seasoning in order to delve deeper into the issues.

The 32nd District’s Del. Tag Greason has amassed a respectable list of accomplishments on kitchen table issues in the region, obtaining coverage for children with autism and requiring schools to have an EpiPen for students with an extreme allergic reaction. We have been pleasantly surprised by the Elizabeth Miller campaign, her aggressive legwork and her ability to speak on big issues in a relatable way. We hope to see more of her in the future, but just haven’t been convinced to put aside a resourceful legislator like Greason.

In the 67th District, Del. Jim LeMunyon has been a reliable voice for the business community and should continue in that role. After initial doubts, LuMunyon worked to keep more regional transportation dollars in Northern Virginia. Certainly well-meaning, Democrat Hung Nguyen doesn’t have the breadth of experience and might benefit from a campaign for county office. His ideas and energy on education issues would certainly be welcome.

Del. Tom Rust of the 86th District remains a beacon of common sense and moderation in the Northern Virginia delegation. Attempts by Democratic opponent Jennifer Boysko to paint Rust as either an ideological extremist or ineffective legislator simply fall flat. Experience has its benefits. Even if we were more taken with Boysko’s first campaign, it wouldn’t overcome our appreciation for the long history of transportation solutions and bipartisan compromise that we’ve seen from Rust.

Among Democratic candidates, we endorse Mary Daniel in the 33rd District, Kathleen Murphy in the 34th and John Bell in the 87th.

In the campaign to replace Del. Joe May in the 33rd District, we prefer Mary Costello Daniel. A moderate on fiscal issues, Daniel has experience dealing with land use and legislative action from her time on the Clarke County Planning Commission and the Berryville Town Council. She has a keen understanding of the breadth of her district and approaches problems from a solutions-based perspective. Alternatively, Republican Dave LaRock’s limited government philosophy makes him appear to be opposed to many things while not necessarily proposing new solutions. While his activism has borne fruit in examining the flaws in proposals like the Silver Line, it’s difficult to imagine him as part of a bipartisan solution to new problems.

While certainly not the primary consideration, the race in the 34th District seems to turn on social issues. Here, our endorsement turns for Kathleen Murphy, who better represents its socially moderate residents. Current delegate, Barbara Comstock has received significant criticism over her support of legislation at odds with reproductive choice. A business advocate through her work on the data center and teleworking bills, Comstock’s opposition to the transportation bill leaves us scratching our heads.

Support for a transportation solution filtered into our endorsement of Democrat John Bell in the 87th District as well. While we commend Del. David Ramadan’s part in the founding of the Business Development Caucus and his outreach to small business, his opposition to the transportation bill is confounding particularly given his apparent support of projects stemming from its funding. And in an election cycle where political gifts are at the forefront, Ramadan’s political disclosure problem is troubling. Alternatively, John Bell has waged a strong campaign with a moderate message. Having won awards as a budget officer in the Air Force, he eludes the typical criticism of being soft on fiscal discipline.

While we feel that an outside perspective on the strengths of each candidate is a proper function for a newspaper opinion page, we also encourage our readers to investigate the individual candidates. Study their positions on the issues and make a choice that seems right for you and your family … but above all, get out and vote on Nov. 5.


ask yourself:  why did McAuliffe give back the money on the “PROFIT From DEATHS Of OTHERS” disgrace only AFTER it appeared to hurt his campaign??  There was an investigation, a trial and his business partner had been in prison for more than a year before McSleazy decided giving the money back was the right thing to do.  He knew all along where the money came from, held the money as long as he thought he could get away with and gave it away only after the cost outweighed the benefit.  This is the character of the man.

@workhardgetahead, if not for Northern va, the rest of virginia would fail since we generate 80% of the taxes(including the dulles toll road money). If anything, northern va should secede from virgina and become northern VA. Richmond and the rest of virginia would struggle without our taxes. Very little comes back our way…..

Why would McAuliffe want Obama to campaign now? he has a double digit lead in polls. As an Independent that was going to vote for the 3rd guy because I don’t trust the repub or dem, however just seeing Obama’s name scare me even more because of all his poor decisions in office and lack of leadership. I might hold my nose and vote for Ken. Terry and his group needs to rethink having Obama campaign with him.

Loudoun Times editors aren’t the only ones endorsing McAuliffe.  Obama himself will be campaigning with McAuliffe this coming week.  So, folks, if you had any doubt who the real radical is on the ticket for governor, it’s clear now.  Everything Obama has been doing to our nation will be duplicated in our Commonwealth if McAuliffe takes up residence in our governor’s mansion.  With McAuliffe you can expect higher taxes, less jobs, less individual freedom, and more restrictions on gun ownership.

The same one Mr. “100% Pro-Life” LaRock said he was supported…except now he says he never said that.
“‘I’m a constitutional conservative and I’m 100 percent pro-life,’ LaRock said. LaRock said he supported all versions of the ultrasound bill, which ultimately passed without the transvaginal probe requirement. He also supports a personhood bill that would declare a fetus a living person.”


“Mark Obenshain, In 2012, Voted In Support Of A “Personhood” Bill That Would Give “Fertilized Eggs The Same Legal Rights As People.”

What more needs to be said?

please enlighten me, why would you want to give away your money to the government. I understand there has to be roads, bridges, 1st responders and military. I’m all for that. But why would you want to elect a man who is telling you he’s going to take an additional 2,000 dollars from you on top of what Obamacare is going to take from many of us. It’s doesn’t make sense. Are you actually paying attention to the issues? What plans has McAuliffe thrown out there besides raising your taxes? Why would you want to work hard and give the money you earn back to the government? IT MAKES NO SENSE!!

Workhardgetahead, that’s a lame argument.  Don’t be so shocked that we are politically represented by population and not geographic area.  You may want to notice the state is split more along east west lines.  Western district being more conservative and rural.  Eastern districts tend more progressive and suburban.


How would VA survive without the money generated in NoVA? You pick our pockets for funding and without use you would be poorer than Mississippi

Does Tag’s kitchen table issues include the $8,000.00 dollar debt every man woman and child in Virginia owes. As we speak the Federal government would like to know when Tag and friends intend to pay back the 500 million dollars that is owed fed? Does the VRS want their money back? I guess the old shell game is on , let’s transfer money from the teachers retirement fund and call it fiscal prudence and that we increased the rainy day fund but don’t tell anyone we have to pay that back! Tag has been in office since January, 2010 and we in Virginia have a biennium budget yet his flyer says he’s been part of balancing 4 state budgets to be truthful should it say 2 budgets covering 4 years. Enhanced budget credit, you be the judge.

Someone might want to work hard for less by relocating to TX, AL, GA, LA, FL, MI.  Most Virginians prefer to get ahead, progress.

You wouldn’t be saying that, if the tax dollars from those 4 counties suddenly dried up.  Richmond disproportionally redistributes that money to the other counties in the state.  Be careful what you wish for.

Fedupdude says “This is true government overreach taking important personal decisions out of the hands of citizens and their medical professionals.”  If you didn’t know better you’d think he was speaking of Obamacare because that’s exactly what Obamacare is ... and yet my guess is Fedupdude is an Obama supporter.  Go figure.

It’s time to give the Northern Counties i.e. Loudoun, Fairfax, Arlington and Alexandria to DC or Maryland. In no way should these 4 counties dictate an election outcome for an entire state. The majority of counties in this state are conservative, and by a wide margin, and will always be that way and you have these 4 Ultra liberal counties tilting the election in their favor.

JLS - You wish they were scare tactics and not the sad truth about these men and their voting records.

Mark Obenshain wrote a personhood bill and Cucc was one of 4 to support it, it bans the pill, the morning after pill, and IUDs; 2 of the most commonly used form of birth control. Educate yourself on the issue.

Also polls show that most Virginians were upset by the ultrasound bill and the clinic rules making them hospitals making its supporters outside the mainstream.

Not to mention all of these things are condemned by the medical community. Religious zealots vs doctors? I will trust doctors thank you.

This is true government overreach taking important personal decisions out of the hands of citizens and their medical professionals.

You Democrats really are deluded ... you think everything you believe is “mainstream,” but if you really believed most voters agreed with your views on the issues, you wouldn’t need to always resort to scare tactics in order to win elections.  McAuliffe is the perfect example of this ... I mean, seriously, who actually believes women won’t have birth control pills unless McAuliffe is elected Virginia’s next governor.  Unfortunately, you Democrats are counting on enough foolish women to believe this in order to sneak your radical left wing extremist into the governor’s mansion.  That’s all you can do when you know you can’t win on the issues.

Cuccinelli’s priorities are, “God, me, the children and everything else.”  Nevermind that he didn’t mention his wife, but we all know women are nothing but broodmares for the GOP.  No, what irks me is that Cooch put “ME” before, “the children”.  What parent ever puts themselves before their children?  That told me all I need to know about Kookinelli.

Cuccinelli called it for the roll out of the ACA. 100’s of millions of dollars to set up the health exchanges and now we have the government in closed door meetings seeking fixes. Won’t cost the taxpayer a dime to fix will it? The head of this, Sebelious is responsible for this travesty. Does anyone see a pattern of screw-ups with Obamas agenda?

They did not even mention David Ramadans work to get the greenway tolls lowered and expose the greenway’s debt charade.  John Bell is running a dirty campaign and does not deserve to be elected.

So I will vote against everybody this pape endorses, just because I don’t agree with their logic(poor logic and common sense). Most have raised our taxes(TAG and others). Most voted on transportation bill, bad for northern va. In a few years that money will go elsewhere… Most forget about the Dulles Toll Rd…Promising it would be a free road once it was paid for. That road was paid for about 20 years ago and now that money goes to fund MWAA’s pockets and into other areas of VA… What a scam

JLS - Here is the thing, McAuliffe is in the main stream with his views of abortion and birth control Cuccinelli is way outside the main stream. McAuliffe is just going to right a few republican wrongs done in the last 4 years which the public is all for if you bother to read polls neither the ultrasound bill or the clinics as hospitals rules were popular among the people and neither endorsed by a major medical association in fact they were condemned by ACOG the #1 doctors group focusing on reproduction. 

Lets just be real here, your guy is the extremist and you are an extremist and outside the popular opinion and they is why your guy is going to lose.

McAuliffe is an unacceptable choice for most people but thanks to money pouring into Virginia from California and New York to run ads full of lies most people don’t know who McAuliffe truly is.  He’s an extremely partisan left-wing radical who will transform Virginia into another Maryland if given the chance.

A man who places money above his wife….hmmm did you ask Mrs. McAuliffe if she even wanted him there? No? Then it’s none of your business.
Cuccinelli once told the Post that is priorities are “God, me, the children and everything else.” He doesn’t even include his wife in his list of priorities & he puts GOD above his duty to uphold the law or the constitution! I’ll take McAuliffe any day of the week over Cuccinelli.

You get McAuliffe because Cuccinelli is an unacceptable choice for most people.  If the GOP ran someone with some appeal outside of the fringe of the party, they’d probably be running away with the race.

Instead they ran an extremist ticket and hopefully the beating will be bad enough to make sure we get some decent choices next time.  Time to kick the religious wing to the curb.

McAuliffe’s “hyper focus on economic issues”?  Really?  From McAuliffe’s commercials, you’d think he was hyper-focused on abortion and birth control pills.  And as for being a salesman, he’s a salesman all right.  In fact, he refers to himself as a hustler in his autobiography in which he boasts of his leaving his distraught wife crying in the car on the way home from the hospital with their newborn baby, saying “I felt bad for Dorothy but it was a million bucks for the Democrat party.”  Now is that the type of man you support for governor of Virginia?  A man who places money and his Democrat party above his wife?  If so, you get what you deserve!

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