Is Abbitt Endorsement of McAuliffe Becoming a Trend? - WSET.com - ABC13

Is Abbitt Endorsement of McAuliffe Becoming a Trend?

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Evington, VA - Terry McAuliffe, Virginia's democratic candidate for governor spent some time in our corner of the commonwealth Wednesday. He toured a family dairy farm in Evington.

It was there, he received a pretty big endorsement, from former Delegate, Watkins Abbitt. Abbitt served the house as a democrat, then switched to an independent, and during that time caucused with republicans.

McAuliffe toured a rural dairy farm in Campbell County Wednesday. He was flanked by, what some might consider, an unlikely ally.

Abbitt, is a 26 year veteran Delegate, most recently an independent who caucused with republicans.

Abbitt, now retired, took this tour to throw his support behind McAuliffe for Governor.

"Rural areas have suffered worse than the cities and Terry understands that, and if he's our governor which I'm sure he's going to be, I think we're going to get a lot of help out here in the rural areas" he said.

"And I'll say Watkins is joining a long list of many other former Republican delegates who have endorsed our candidacy" said McAuliffe.

He's not kidding; Abbitt, is just the most recent of a slew of independents and republicans that have backed McAuliffe.

Former Delegates, Panny Rhodes, Robert Bloxom, and Preston Bryant, all republicans, have all thrown their support behind McAuliffe.

"Endorsements don't win elections, it's the candidates ability to turn out the voters" said Wendell Walker, the 6th District Republican Party Chairman.

Republicans say no big deal though.

Walker says the endorsements McAuliffe receives from republicans will just help make his party stronger.

"Are they willing to stand for conservative issues or are they moderates, or liberals? So I think that is what people look at" he said.

Delegates aren't McAuliffe's only supporters though. Former Republican National Committee Finance Chair, Dwight Schar has also endorsed the democrat.

McAuliffe is running against Republican Ken Cuccinelli.

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