The Washington Post on Sunday endorsed Democrat Terry McAuliffe for Virginia governor, saying he "represents continuity in a state that has been well served by comity, compromise and political coexistence between the parties."
The Post acknowledged misgivings about both candidates but said that, given the choices, staying home on Election Day, Nov. 5, would be irresponsible.
"Whatever the candidates’ failings," the Post wrote in its editorial, "they offer a stark and consequential choice that boils down to this: Will Virginia stick to its long tradition of moderate, pragmatic governance, or will it veer off into an ideological adventure at the behest of one of Richmond’s most polarizing and provocative public figures of the last decade?"
The editorial cited a string of social issues that it said Cuccinelli sees as "outrages" that he seeks to correct "using government's big stick." Among the views cited: climate change as a hoax, the belief that immigrants should be deported, that abortion clinics should be regulated out of business and that discrimination against homosexuals should be legal.
"...if he were to become governor," the editorial said, "Mr. Cuccinelli would plunge Virginia into the venomous, corrosive culture wars that have paralyzed Washington."
On the other hand, the editorial said, McAuliffe "holds out the credible promise that Virginia will remain open, tolerant and pragmatic, friendly to business and committed to job growth. That is critical in the face of sequestration and other austerity measures in a state whose economy is heavily dependent on federal spending."