Major Republican Ally of McDonnell Puts Support Behind McAuliffe

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    I honestly can’t imagine how anyone who’s even semi-“moderate,” pro-science, who supports a woman’s right to choose, and who wants to see a prosperous and thriving Virginia, could vote for Cuccinelli/Jackson/Obenshain (especially when the alternative is pro-business, mainstream Democrat Terry McAuliffe). Well, here’s more evidence (see press release from the McAuliffe campaign below) that there are many big-time Virginia Republicans out there who agree with me.

    Republican Bruce Thompson, a long-time ally of Governor Bob McDonnell and leading Virginia businessman announced his support for Terry McAuliffe for Governor on Friday.  The announcement follows a series of endorsements for Terry McAuliffe from well-known Virginia Republicans this week.

    Thompson, who was the Chairman of Governor Bob McDonnell’s Transition Team for Film and Tourism in 2009 and served as tourism chair on Governor McDonnell’s Economic Development and Jobs Creation Commission, commented that he is supporting McAuliffe because he is “reaching out to Republicans and Democrats to find the best solutions to the challenges we face.”

    And as a pioneer of the Virginia Beach tourism industry, Thompson stated that Virginia’s next Governor needs to “work with members of both parties to reduce the transportation gridlock that burdens Hampton Roads” and “strengthen our vital tourism economy.”

    “I am grateful to have Bruce’s support and the support of so many Virginians of both parties,” said McAuliffe. “It is clear that Virginians want leaders who will focus on finding bipartisan compromise to the challenges the Commonwealth faces, and that’s what I will do every day as Governor.”

    Statement from Bruce Thompson:

    “Today, I am announcing my support for Terry McAuliffe for Governor because he will find bipartisan solutions to tackling the issues Virginia’s businesses and families care about. As a Republican and former Tourism Chair of Governor McDonnell’s Commission on Economic Development and Job Creation, I am supporting Terry because I know he will focus on diversifying Virginia’s economy and put in place policies that attract and keep the best businesses here in Hampton Roads and across the Commonwealth. We need our next Governor to work with members of both parties to reduce the transportation gridlock that burdens Hampton Roads, strengthen our vital tourism economy and improve our education systems so we prepare our workforce for the jobs of the future.  Terry is focusing on mainstream issues that will unite Virginians and is reaching out to Republicans and Democrats to find the best solutions to the challenges we face. I urge all Virginians to join me in supporting Terry McAuliffe for Governor.”

    Background on Bruce Thompson:

    Bruce Thompson played a major role in Governor Bob McDonnell’s administration in strengthening Virginia’s tourism industry as part of overall efforts to diversify the state’s economy and ensure that Virginia competes in a global marketplace.

    Thompson is the fifth major Republican business leader this week to endorse Terry McAuliffe. On Monday, former RNC Finance Chair Dwight Schar and former candidate for the GOP nomination for Governor Earle Williams announced their support for McAuliffe. Tuesday, Jan Schar, former President of the Virginia Federation of Republican Women, and Milt Peterson, a leading businessman in Northern Virginia also endorsed McAuliffe.

    Thompson is the founder and CEO of GoldKey PHR, one of the largest employers in Virginia Beach. He served as Chairman of Governor McDonnell’s Transition Team for Film and Tourism in 2009 and was then  tourism chair of Governor McDonnell’s Economic Development and Jobs Creation Commission. In his role, Thompson worked with other members of the Commission and the McDonnell Administration to increase visitation to Virginia, and maximize the marketing potential of Virginia’s tourism industry.

    Recently, Thompson was named the 2012 “First Citizen of Virginia Beach” and spearheaded the building of the first fully accessible beachside resort for the disabled in the nation.

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