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Richmond paper refuses to make endorsement in Va. governor's race

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Shown here are Ken Cuccinelli, left, and Terry McAuliffe, candidates for Virginia governor.AP/Reuters

With the tempestuous Virginia governor's race drawing to a close, the state capital's flagship newspaper revealed Sunday that it would not endorse either Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli or Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe.  

In an opinion piece titled "Our choice for governor in 2013: None of the above," the Richmond Times-Dispatch said it could not "in good conscience endorse a candidate for governor." 

The Times-Dispatch has a history of endorsing Republicans to win Virginia's Executive Mansion and endorsed Mitt Romney for President in 2012. But the paper criticized Cuccinelli, the state's attorney general, for his stances on social issues, specifically citing his opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage. 

"[Cuccinelli] pursues his divisive agenda with a stridency that was unbecoming in an attorney general and would be unbecoming in a governor," the paper wrote. McAuliffe, the former Democratic National Committee president who has received the endorsement of both Bill and Hillary Clinton, was slammed for "not [conforming] to Virginia's history of fiscal restraint," and the paper called his knowledge of state government "laughable." Robert Sarvis, the Libertarian candidate for governor, was dismissed as having "no experience applicable to the governorship, period." 

McAuliffe has consistently led in the polls in the run-up to the November 5 election and has received the endorsement of the Washington Post and the Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, two of the most-read newspapers in the state.