The political-action committee of the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce has opted not to weigh in on any of the three statewide races on the Nov. 2 ballot.
In a departure from frequent practice, the Northern Virginia Business Political Action Committee – or NOVABIZPAC – said neither of the major-party candidates for governor earned the two-thirds majority required for endorsement.
The decision came after each candidate for governor sat for interviews with members of the PAC.
“We are confident we can work with whomever is elected to serve as governor to advance a pro-business agenda,” said Julie Coons, president and CEO of the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce. She said Virginia voters have in Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin a choice “between two experienced leaders.”
McAuliffe had been endorsed for governor by the political-action committee in 2013. That year, the committee also endorsed Democrats Ralph Northam for lieutenant governor and Mark Herring for attorney general.
Four years later, however, the organization endorsed Republican Ed Gillespie, who was seeking the governorship against Northam. It split on the other two slots, endorsing Republican Jill Vogel for lieutenant governor and Herring for attorney general.
No endorsements were bestowed this year on candidates for lieutenant governor or attorney general, either, although the group did issue a raft of endorsements in House of Delegates races.
Those endorsed “are best positioned to work with the Northern Virginia Chamber to advance a pro-business agenda that helps the commonwealth remain among the best states in the nation for business,” said Scott McGeary of Washington Gas, who chairs NOVABIZPAC.
In the 2021 downballot races, Herring is seeking a third term for attorney general and is challenged by Republican Jason Miyares. Republican Winsome Sears and Democrat Hala Ayala are seeking to become lieutenant governor.
The political-action committee was founded in 2002, using the Chamber’s legislative agenda as its guide for endorsement of candidates. (For information, see the Website at www.novabizpac.org.)
The Northern Virginia Chamber’s member firms and organizations employs a cumulative half-million workers across the region.
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