Three former GOP lawmakers back Democrat Terry McAuliffe for governor

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Local,Virginia,Steve Contorno

Democrat Terry McAuliffe announced Wednesday the support of three former Republican lawmakers for his campaign for governor.

Former Dels. Vince Callahan Jr., Jim Dillard and Katherine Waddell -- all Republicans -- said they are backing McAuliffe this November over Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. Waddell also served as an independent.

Dillard and Waddell both endorsed Democratic Sen. Creigh Deeds in his 2009 gubernatorial run. Callahan, who represented Fairfax County in the House of Delegates for four decades, supported Gov. Bob McDonnell four years ago but threw his weight behind Democratic Sen. Mark Warner in 2008.

"We need to get away from partisan bickering and ideological brinksmanship and come together to focus on doing what's best for Virginia," Callahan said. "That's why I'm proud to support Terry McAuliffe for governor."

The news comes a day after Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling officially ended speculation he'd run as an independent, and it's a clear signal McAuliffe wants to appeal to the type of voters who might have swung for Bolling.

"A life spent in the business world has taught me that the best solutions usually come through compromise and working together," McAuliffe said. "I'm honored to have the support of former Republican legislators and will continue to work with members of all parties to find mainstream solutions to make the commonwealth better for business."

scontorno@washingtonexaminer.com

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