Two Northern Virginia leaders of the opposing major political parties, one a Republican, the other a Democrat, joined on a conference call last week for an exclusive interview with the News-Press to explain why both have endorsed Terry McAuliffe in his run for re-election as governor of Virginia this fall.
The two, who sat down from their respective offices in Loudoun County for a Zoom video call with this correspondent on Sept. 30, shared similar strong views on why Democrat McAuliffe should be re-elected and why his opponent, Republican Glenn Youngkin should be rejected.
Del. Suhas Subramanyam, the Democrat currently representing the 87th District that snakes north-south around Dulles Airport in Loudoun, hailed McAuliffe’s “great track record for success,” “having done so much in his first term.”
By contrast, he called Youngkin “divisive,” “emboldening anti-vax extremists” with no record of achievements for the economy despite his past role as CEO of a large corporation.
Former Del. David Ramadan, a Republican who represented the same 87th District from 2011-2015, praised McAuliffe’s “leadership, vision and fortitude,” saying he “is ready to be governor again.” As a conservative, Ramadan said this marks his first time endorsing a Democrat, and that it’s because of “the huge differences between the candidates” on the issues of jobs, education and economic growth.
Ramadan also accused Youngkin of “playing footsie with Trumpist election integrity challengers” that is “dangerous.” He said that Youngkin’s call to eliminate grocery taxes is “simple campaign rhetoric,” because it can’t be backed up with its implications for the overall budget. “The electorate is smarter than that.”
Subramanyam, who at age 35 is the first Indian-American, South Asian and Hindu elected to the Virginia General Assembly, concurred. That Youngkin promise would “drive the state into the ditch” by “throwing the baby out with the tax plan,” he said.
Ramadan, 51 and Lebanese by birth, is one of a long list of Republicans who’ve endorsed the Democrat McAuliffe, headed by Bill Kristoll former editor the Weekly Standard, who now calls himself a “former future Republican.” Ramadan claims the same identification for himself, saying he’s a staunch conservative and will become a Republican again “when and if the party comes back.” But that’s not now.
In this election, he said, “it’s simply a question of who’s best for the job.” Youngkin, he asserted, is a “novice with no plans” who focuses on “dog whistle issues” and is a “wannabe Trump” who has funded anti-vax efforts. “He is not fit for office,” he said.
Sabramanyam said he resents the accusations from the Trump side that immigrants are responsible for vote fraud. “It is demeaning and not true,” he said. “We need less divisiveness in politics and to heal the divide.”