The curious case of the NFIB endorsement
This week, The National Federation of Independent Businesses announced their endorsements of statewide candidates in Virginia. The endorsements came with great fanfare. They were splashed on the group’s website, fired out in press releases and of course, touted by the candidates who earned the support.
There was only one problem, they forgot one.
NFIB, a group that represents small business owners across the country, while non-partisan, generally endorses republicans. It was not much of a surprise that they chose to get behind Bob McDonnell for Governor and Bill Bolling for Lt. Governor. But in the race for Attorney General they did not offer an opinion of any kind.
The situation got strange when Steve Shannon, the democratic candidate for Attorney General released a statement, thanking the NFIB for their “consideration”, even though he learned that he would not receive the endorsement. Privately, Shannon has been working hard to court the endorsement of pro-business groups that traditionally support Republicans. Senior campaign officials have told me “not to be surprised” when the candidate picks up the nod of organizations that go against the top of the democratic ticket. This was evident when the Virginia Association of Realtors picked McDonnell and Bolling, but then broke ranks and endorsed Shannon over his republican opponent Ken Cuccinelli.
But while this “non-endorsement” looks like a minor victory for the Shannon camp, NFIB seems to be holding on to their right to support one of the two candidates before the end of the campaign. A staff member at the NFIB told me that they hadn’t endorsed in the race for Attorney General “yet”. So far my inquiries looking for more information regarding the endorsement have gone unanswered. If I learn more, I will let you know.
The full statement from Steve Shannon can be found after the jump..
Shannon Thanks NFIB for Endorsement Consideration
Fairfax, VA – Attorney General candidate Steve Shannon released the following statement after hearing recently that he would not be receiving the endorsement of the Virginia Chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB):
“I want to thank the NFIB board and the members of the Virginia chapter for considering me for their organization’s endorsement. I am proud of my record supporting Virginia’s hard working small business owners and their employees, which earned me the support of the Virginia Chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors and the Virginia Association of Realtors.
Even though I will not be receiving the NFIB endorsement when they release it later this fall, I will continue to share my plan to put politics aside and make Virginia a safer, better place to work and run a business as Attorney General.”
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses make up 98% of all Virginia employers and half of the private sector jobs in Virginia.
Steve Shannon is running for Attorney General to make Virginia safer by cracking down on gang leaders, drunk drivers and Internet predators who target children. He has a strong record of supporting small business and working with Governors Warner and Kaine to keep Virginia the best state for business in the country.