The bad news seems to keep piling up for Ken Cuccinelli and deservedly so. Simply put, Cuccinelli is such a far right religious extremist out of the mainstream that even usual Republican backing elected officials find it impossible to endorse McAuliffe. Now joining the list of conservatives who have endorsed Democrat gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffle is Virginia Beach mayor Will Sessoms (pictured at left) who I have known for well over 20 years. For readers outside of Virginia, Virginia Beach is Virginia's largest city based on population. Sessoms, who is very connected in the "good old boy network, has also been very supportive of HRBOR, the gay and gay friendly chamber of commerce that I helped found, and I suspect he understands that Cuccinelli's anti-gay and anti-woman extremism is bad for Virginia's economy and Virginia's tourism industry. Blue Virginia has details on this development. Here are highlights:
From the McAuliffe for Governor campaign...very interesting (note: Larry Sabato tweets that this is "stunning," noting "VA Beach is a critical swing locality & Sessoms is a real power there. That's a BIG defection from Cuccinelli."MEDIA ADVISORY: Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms To Endorse McAuliffe for GovernorVirginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms, the Republican mayor of Virginia's largest city, will endorse Terry McAuliffe for governor tomorrow. This is the first time Sessoms has endorsed a Democrat for governor in his more than 20 years in public service in Virginia Beach."Terry McAuliffe's focus on diversifying and growing Virginia's economy will help foster economic growth in Virginia Beach, and help Hampton Roads to become a greater center of commerce in the Commonwealth, and I am proud to give him my full support," said Sessoms. "Terry's commitment to supporting investments in transportation and education here in Hampton Roads will make our communities stronger and prepare our workforce for the innovative jobs of the 21st Century."Sessoms' endorsement marks the sixth out of the seven mayors in Hampton Roads to endorse McAuliffe. McAuliffe has also been endorsed by Mayor Paul Fraim of Norfolk, Mayor Molly Ward of Hampton, Mayor McKinley Price of Newport News, Mayor Kenny Wright of Portsmouth, and Mayor Linda Johnson of Suffolk.Sessoms will announce his endorsement Tuesday while touring the Virginia Beach Advanced Technology Center with McAuliffe and Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim. The support for McAuliffe by both mayors Sessoms and Fraim signifies a major step in bringing the region together to foster economic growth, innovation, and job creation. McAuliffe will also release his economic development plan for Hampton Roads on Tuesday.
Kudos to Will!! I continue to hope that the message the Virginia GOP receives is that never, ever again can it allow The Family Foundation and/or Tea Party lunatics to hijack the GOP nominating process and put in place a slate so extreme on social issues that the general elections will turn out to be a GOP massacre. The Family Foundation may still hold sway in backwaters like Martinsville, Danville and the hinterland of Southwest Virginia, but it is increasingly radioactive across the rest of the Commonwealth. Victoria Cobb and her fellow hate merchants at TFF need to be kicked to the political curb once and for all.