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Washington Post, Daily Press, and Virginian-Pilot Endorse Northam in VA
Today, Ralph Northam earned endorsements from editorial boards at the Washington Post, Daily Press, and Virginian-Pilot. Below are excerpts from the three endorsements:
It is not that Mr. Northam is qualified and Mr. Gillespie unqualified. It is that Mr. Northam can convincingly promise to be governor for all Virginians, while Mr. Gillespie, even while asserting the same, has disqualified himself from any such credible claim. We support Mr. Northam.
Having used massive TV advertising buys to whip up the fears and hatreds of his party’s extremists — by equating illegal immigrants with violent Hispanic gangs; by embracing Confederate monuments weeks after they were the rallying cause for neo-Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville; by distorting the facts on rights restoration for a convicted sex offender — the Republican candidate has swapped his cloak as a problem-solver for a demagogue’s mantle. Having chosen to campaign as a divider, Mr. Gillespie’s chances of governing as a uniter are dim.
And Mr. Gillespie, a longtime lobbyist who very nearly unseated U.S. Sen. Mark Warner three years ago, has run a campaign centered on a repulsive and racially tinged effort to link Mr. Northam to rape, murder and a noxious criminal gang. For a candidate to resort to this kind of lying attack ought to be disqualifying. When this editorial board pressed him about his campaign centerpiece — a 10 percent income tax cut — he showed an astonishing lack of awareness of easily available information about state revenue.
…Gov. McAuliffe has used the veto power to do so. He has, unfortunately, not been able to reach across the partisan divide as Mr. Northam did when he was a state Senator, convincing a skeptical, tobacco state legislature to ban smoking in restaurants. It is to provide a check on partisan excess and in the hope that Mr. Northam can continue to convince legislators to work together for the good of the state, that we endorse him.
Still, a pragmatic and nuanced approach to facilitating growth seems the less risky path, especially when Virginia cannot afford a loss in revenue. It would help develop the type of consensus needed to win broad support in a divided General Assembly.
Therein lies Northam’s greatest appeal: Far from a flashy politician, the lieutenant governor has spent years in Richmond, developing the relationships needed to work across the aisle and deliver results.
That issue represents one of Gillespie’s biggest campaign missteps, as he pointed to Northam’s support of that landmark legislation as an indication of the Democrat’s penchant for raising taxes. The Republican quickly walked it back and has been insistent that he would not reverse a funding blueprint that is helping remake Hampton Roads, Northern Virginia and the rest of the commonwealth, but it set off alarm bells here that continue to echo.