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1st GOP Va governor supports Dem McAuliffe in '13

Friday - 6/14/2013, 1:52pm  ET

AP Political Writer

RICHMOND, Va. -- The first Republican to break the stranglehold Democrats held on Virginia's executive mansion since Reconstruction is supporting the Democratic nominee in this fall's race for governor.

Former Gov. Linwood Holton's endorsement of Terry McAuliffe is hardly a surprise. After all, McAuliffe and Holton's own son-in-law, former Gov. Tim Kaine, both served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

Holton, the first governor to place an African- American in a cabinet post when he served from 1970 to 1974, has been alienated by his party's rightward shift. Virginia Republicans long ago wrote him off as a RINO, or "Republican in name only."

In announcing the endorsement, Holton called for "a singular focus" on economic issues, "not an ideological agenda that divides people."

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