Social Conservatism

Donors Punish Virginia GOP Candidate's Social Conservatism by Withholding Cash

Enough with the culture war

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Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli has raised less than half as much cash as Democratic opponent Terry McAuliffe, with a prominent list of Republican donors sitting out this year's most competitive U.S. political contest—and in some cases switching sides.

The financial disadvantage four months before the election illustrates the difficulties confronting an attorney general who is campaigning on an economic growth plan yet is best known for his opposition to gay marriage and abortion.

"Mr. Cuccinelli's very hard stance on some of the social issues is a concern for me," said Virginia Beach developer Bruce L. Thompson, chief executive officer of Gold Key/PHR Hotels and Resorts, a financial backer of current Republican Governor Bob McDonnell who in May gave McAuliffe $25,000.

"I believe personally in a woman's right to choose, but I also think from an economic development standpoint, we're trying to attract businesses from other areas of the country, and we're telling women that we're going to regulate the way that they run their life? I just don't think we can be exclusionary when it comes to women" and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered individuals, Thompson said.