The Northern Virginia Technology Council’s political arm decided to give its coveted endorsement in the Virginia governor’s race to Republican nominee Ken Cuccinelli II but delayed Friday’s scheduled announcement after supporters of his Democratic opponent, Terry McAuliffe, raised objections, according to former and current members of the council.
The bipartisan board of NVTC’s TechPAC interviewed both candidates Thursday and voted immediately afterward by secret ballot to give the nod to Cuccinelli, the state’s attorney general, according to council members who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the issue remains unresolved.
That night, TechPAC’s chair, Dendy Young, called both candidates to advise them of the decision.
The NVTC’s endorsement announcement was set for 1 p.m. Friday but was put off without explanation.
Members of the council started buzzing when no announcement was made.
“What I got later in the afternoon from a board member was, ‘I have no idea what’s going on but I have registered my extreme anger that we made an endorsement yesterday and now someone is trying to overrule it,’ ” a former council member said Saturday.
Members of the NVTC executive committee have scheduled a special meeting Sunday night to review the process, the council members said.
Barbara Greene “Bobbie” Kilberg, the NVTC’s chief executive, confirmed Saturday that TechPAC’s announcement had been delayed but declined to comment further.
McAuliffe has racked up several high-profile endorsements, including from the Virginia Association of Realtors and Boyd Marcus, a longtime Republican consultant who is on the payroll of McAuliffe’s campaign.
Cuccinelli can claim support from the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation AgPAC, the Police Benevolent Association and David “Mudcat” Saunders, a veteran Democratic Party strategist.
As endorsements go, the NVTC’s is an important one in Northern Virginia.
The NVTC bills itself as the largest technology council in the nation, representing about 1,000 businesses and organizations. Its members include all sectors of the high-tech industry, as well as nonprofit groups, universities and government agencies.
NVTC’s TechPAC is independently chartered and administered by a 25-member board of trustees.
Richard T. Cullen, a spokesman for Cuccinelli’s campaign, said Cuccinelli received a call from the NVTC confirming the endorsement but declined to comment further. McAuliffe campaign spokesman Josh Schwerin declined comment.