Former Republican Governor of Virginia Linwood Holton Announces Support for McAuliffe

Former Republican Governor of Virginia Linwood Holton Announces Support for McAuliffe

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Great news from the Terry McAuliffe for Governor campaign, as yet another moderate, sane Republican endorses him, not crazy Ken Cuccinelli.

Virginia’s 61st Governor, Republican Linwood Holton, endorsed Terry McAuliffe for Governor today, stating that McAuliffe “will put partisan politics aside and work every day to move Virginia forward.”

Holton, who served from 1970-1974 was the first Republican governor elected in Virginia since Reconstruction. He became a model for those who governed from the middle, as he rejected the extreme wings of both parties, and championed causes such as civil rights and equal opportunity across the Commonwealth.

“My time as Governor taught me a thing or two about the qualities needed to ensure the Commonwealth remains the best place in the country to live and work,” Holton commented. “Virginia needs a Governor who will work across the aisle to find mainstream solutions to growing our economy,” he added.

“I am honored to have the support of Governor Holton. He is a leader who did what was right for Virginia and made this state a better place to live, work, and raise a family. As Governor, I hope to continue his legacy of focusing on mainstream issues, like strengthening Virginia’s infrastructure, making our government more efficient, and expanding economic opportunity for all Virginians,” McAuliffe said.

Holton’s endorsement follows a series of endorsements from prominent Virginia Republicans and business leaders over the last two weeks.

Statement from Governor Holton:

“My time as Governor taught me a thing or two about the qualities needed to ensure the Commonwealth remains the best place in the country to live and work. Virginia needs a Governor who will work across the aisle to find mainstream solutions to growing our economy. There needs to be a singular focus on these economic issues, not an ideological agenda that divides people. I’m supporting Terry McAuliffe because he has that focus, he will put partisan politics aside and work every day to move Virginia forward. Terry has shown his focus already by emphasizing the importance of improving community colleges and working across the aisle to support the critical bipartisan transportation proposal.”

Background on Governor Linwood Holton:

Linwood Holton Jr. was Virginia’s 61st Governor and served from 1970-1974. He was the first Republican governor elected since Reconstruction, and was a champion for civil rights across the Commonwealth, declaring an end to the state’s anti-desegregation policy. Holton was well known for being able to work across the aisle with the Democratic-dominated legislature at the time to find solutions to issues such as transportation, government efficiency, and the environment. Holton is credited with reorganizing the executive branch and creating a cabinet system, as well as creating a unified Ports authority in Hampton Roads.

Holton was born in Big Stone Gap, and attended Washington and Lee University, and Harvard Law School. Governor Holton also served with the Submarine Force during World War II and he was a captain with the U.S. Naval Reserve. After his tenure as Governor, he served as Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs under President Nixon from 1974-1975.

  • K in VA

    This is good news. One wonders whether some other Republicans of an earlier era might also join the movement to save Virginia from Cuccinelli et al. I doubt many would have tne nerse to do so, though I suspect many are unhappy with this year’s state ticket.

    But you most definitely should have mentioned to whom Holton’s daughter is married. That’s a fact that undoubtedly came into play in Holton’s announcement, at least a bit.

  • Elaine in Roanoke

    The nuts now running the GOP in Virginia disavow Linwood Holton. Holton was a member of the “Mountain Republicans,” politicians who fought against the remnants of the old, racist, elitist Byrd machine that ruled Virginia for more than half of the 20th Century. Holton embodied the reformist Republicans who brought a breath of fresh air to Virginia politics for the short time they dominated the party of Lincoln. He is a hero to people who longed for moderation in this state as we were growing up.