Realtors endorse McAuliffe over Cuccinelli

RICHMOND — The Virginia Association of Realtors endorsed Democrat Terry McAuliffe over Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II Monday in the race for Virginia governor.

The 29,000-member group has seesawed between Republican and Democratic candidates in recent elections. It backed Republicans Robert F. McDonnell in 2009 and Jerry Kilgore in 2005, but in 2001, it endorsed Democrat Mark Warner as well as a Democrat then running for lieutenant governor, Timothy M. Kaine. Kilgore, then the GOP’s nominee for attorney general, also got the association’s nod that year.

McAuliffe is likely to use the endorsement to push his argument that Virginia business leaders are wary of Cuccinelli’s conservative record on social issues. “Realtors Endorse McAuliffe for Bipartisanship, Focus on Economy,” read the headline on the McAuliffe campaign’s announcement of the endorsement.

Cuccinelli recently picked up the endorsement of the Police Benevolent Association, a group that backed Sen. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath) over McDonnell in the governor’s race four years ago. The association represents more than 3,000 law enforcement officials.

Cuccinelli also won the support of a group representing the state’s largest industry: agriculture. The 150,000-member Virginia Farm Bureau Federation AgPAC split its down-ticket endorsements: supporting Sen. Ralph S. Northam (D-Norfolk) for lieutenant governor and Sen. Mark D. Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg) for attorney general.

Laura Vozzella covers Virginia politics for The Washington Post.

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