RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – For the first time in “modern history,” the Richmond Times-Dispatch will not endorse a candidate running for Governor of Virginia. The newspaper announced its non-endorsement in a Sunday editorial.
“In the past, The Times-Dispatch has endorsed candidates with varying degrees of enthusiasm. We find it impossible to endorse any of the 2013 candidates with even minimal zeal,” the newspaper wrote.
On Republican Ken Cuccinelli:
"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."
On Democrat Terry McAuliffe:
"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."
On Libertarian Robert Sarvis:
"Libertarian Robert Sarvis has neither embarrassed himself nor insulted the commonwealth. He lacks the experience the job demands, however. Moreover, while The Times-Dispatch finds considerable merit in the libertarian ethos, the libertarian ideology is a luxury afforded by a political, economic and social climate that, despite the nation’s commitment to liberty, was not created by libertarian doctrine. We fear Sarvis would be in over his head."
Area voters told CBS 6 that they thought the RTD is representing how they feel about this election.
"I think they feel the way I feel," Paul McGinnis said.
"You'd like to vote for non of the above sometimes but you vote," Louis Benoit said.
CBS political analyst Dr. Bob Holsworth told CBS 6 the RTD apathy is particularity troublesome for Republicans. After all, the Times-Dispatch is traditionally conservative in nature - endorsing candidates from George W. Bush to Governor Bob McDonnell.
"The fact that they didn't endorse anyone is probably better news for Terry McAuliffe," Holsworth said.
But traditionally liberal newspapers, like the Charlottsville Daily Progress, is expressing discontent as well. That paper endorsed a person who is not even running for Governor, Lt. Governor Bill Bolling.
Holsworth says the lethargy among voters in this race is perhaps linked to that lack of primary challenges on both side of aisle. Cuccinelli ran unopposed for the nomination at the GOP Convention while McAuliffe ran unopposed in the Virginia Democratic Primary.
"Primaries have two impacts, it builds the name recognition of a candidate - it energizes its supporters," Holsworth said.
The Times Dispatch did endorse to candidates however for the office of Lt. Governor and Attorney General.
The RTD endorsed Republican State Senator Mark Obenshain for Attorney General and Democrat State Senator Ralph Northam for Lt. Governor.