In March it was former Republican U.S. Senator John Warner who came out in support of Democratic U.S. Senator Mark Warner. Now another 15 former GOP electeds have joined the Warner band wagon. It wasn’t immediately understood why they came out so soon. However, former State Senator Brandon Bell (R), one of those who endorsed Warner, wrote on his Facebook page:
My understanding now is that political relationships are two way streets. You see the GOP base (some now like to call them the tea party) view their candidates and office holders as hostages. You steer to their line or risk political death. How is that a relationship to build from. The GOP base screams so loudly when a former office holder endorses a Democrat. Well how many former hostages like to hang out with their former captors on weekends? To the GOP base only policy positions matter, not relationships. News flash: Politics is a relationship business if there ever was one. As far as myself, I am perfectly willing to potentially support a Republican candidate in the future. Just give me a call!
The Roanoke Times wrote:
RPV Chairman Pat Mullins harshly downplayed the endorsements saying, “It’s made up of people who share Mark Warner’s love of higher taxes, and various other folks who more than likely haven’t supported a GOP nominee since Linwood Holton was governor.”
The list (see Roanoke Times article) includes former Republican Governor Linwood Holton.