Roanoke Times Endorses No One in 6th District Race

Roanoke, VA - The Roanoke Times has decided no candidate is good enough for an endorsement in the 6th District Congressional race this year.

The race pits Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte against Democratic challenger Andy Schmookler.

On Thursday, the Roanoke Times Editorial Board decided that endorsing no one in the 6th District congressional race is the way to go this year, saying incumbent Bob Goodlatte is "on the wrong side of major policy issues."

"The Roanoke Times is known to have a very liberal editorial policy. My views are very different than theirs," said Congressman Goodlatte.

And saying his challenger, Andy Schmookler, has little understanding about the job he is running for.

"They showed, I think, a lack of understanding of what I have to offer when they dismissed me as a naive Mr. Smith to send to Washington," said Schmookler.

For many candidates an endorsement from a region's major newspaper is a big deal sometimes.

"Number one it has to be a fairly major newspaper with a good sized readership. Number two... the endorsement has to be unpredictable," said Hollins University Political Scientist Dr. Ed Lynch.

Only one of those conditions is met in this scenario as the difference between Goodlatte and the Roanoke Times has always been predictable.

According to some experts, while the readership of the Times is big enough to make a difference, the only way an unpredictable endorsement would surface in this election cycle is if the Times changed the direction of endorsements from days gone by.

"In a close race in Virginia, let's say between Obama and Romney or between Allen and Kaine... if they were to step out of character and endorse the Republican for a change then I think that would make a lot of people pay attention and probably would sway some voters that were still undecided," said Lynch.

Management at the Roanoke Times declined an interview for this story saying the editorial was well crafted and should speak for itself.

They did say this approach of not endorsing anyone is not uncommon. They point out that the Roanoke Times did not endorse anyone for the Sixth district in 2010 either.