The ex-chief of staff for House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) helped Democrat Terry McAuliffe beat Republican Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia’s gubernatorial election race.
Boyd Marcus, the chief of staff for Cantor until 2003–who later teamed with another GOP operative Ray Allen to found the firm Marcus Allen, which Cantor employed until earlier this year–joined the McAuliffe campaign after Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, with whom Marcus campaigned, did not win the GOP nominee in Virginia.
“I was looking at the candidates, and I saw Terry McAuliffe as the guy who will work with everybody to get things done,” Marcus told the Associated Press in August when he joined McAuliffe’s campaign.
Cantor employed Marcus Allen until the day before Marcus left the firm to work for McAuliffe, at which point Allen dissolved it. NBC Washington reports that Allen will continue to work with Cantor. Cantor personally endorsed Cuccinelli in the race.
“I am enthusiastically supporting Terry McAuliffe for Governor because I believe he will work with both parties to advance an agenda that prioritizes economic growth,” Marcus added in a statement posted on McAuliffe’s website earlier this year.
Virginia needs an experienced businessman who will put the practical needs of our people ahead of political ideology. I’ve never before supported any Democrat, but this election Terry is the clear choice for mainstream conservatives. I am excited to work with him to grow the already-long list of prominent Republican leaders who are supporting his campaign. Virginia is facing tremendous economic headwinds and we need a Governor who is going to work with both parties.
Marcus is not the only establishment Republican who actually worked to help McAuliffe and undermine Cuccinelli.
Former Republican National Committee finance chairman Dwight Schar supported him, too. “As a Republican and especially as a Virginia businessman, I am supporting Terry McAuliffe for Governor,” Schar said in a statement posted on McAuliffe’s website. “Terry is going to work with both parties to enact mainstream solutions that reduce traffic, improve our schools, and develop our workforce for the global marketplace. Ken Cuccinelli’s ideological agenda has divided Virginians and blocked progress on education and transportation for long enough.”
Judy Ford Wason, a GOP strategist who worked for outgoing Republican Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, endorsed McAuliffe, as well. “We saw this earlier this year when he [McAuliffe] rallied support for Governor McDonnell’s bipartisan transportation compromise, and we continue to see this as Terry travels across the state meeting with business and community leaders regardless of political affiliation to discuss mainstream ways to grow our economy and create jobs in the Commonwealth,” Wason said in a statement posted on McAuliffe’s website. “With six grandchildren I want to be sure that young Virginians will be able to look forward to exciting job opportunities and a great quality of life. I believe that as Governor Terry will work to ensure that Virginia is a leader in the global economy and that our citizens and communities prosper.”
Former Virginia Sen. John Chichester, once the GOP president pro tempore of the Virginia Senate, also endorsed McAuliffe, as did former state GOP Sen. Russ Potts, former Virginia GOP delegates Vince Callahan, Katherine Waddell and Jim Dillard. Each one of those Republicans issued statements distributed by the McAuliffe campaign.
Mark Levin wrote in a Monday Facebook post that the RINOs, or Republicans in Name Only, wanted McCauliffe to win on Tuesday. “Many in the GOP establishment, from major fundraisers and consultants, to GOP officeholders such as the GOP Lt. Gov and mayor of Virginia Beach, have either trashed Attorney General Ken Cuccinnelli or endorsed McAuliffe outright. The GOP national machine has done next to nothing for Cuccinnelli,” Levin wrote.
In addition to all of those GOP establishment figures who were key operatives for Cantor, McDonnell, the RNC, and actual state GOP lawmakers, national RNC chairman Reince Priebus spent Tuesday in New Jersey to back up Chris Christie, whose re-election was never in question, rather than in Virginia using his celebrity to get out the vote in Cuccinelli’s nail-biter race.
Among these GOP establishment figures connected to Republicans who helped McAuliffe–particularly Priebus and Cantor–many support comprehensive immigration reform. Pro-amnesty activists have pledged they would use a McAuliffe victory to promote their national cause.