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Crutchfield CEO Bucks Trend of Supporting GOP, Backs McAuliffe

September 30, 2013

A local businessman has decided to back Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic candidate for Virginia governor, bucking his trend of supporting members of the GOP for local and statewide offices.

Bill Crutchfield, the founder and CEO of his eponymous electronics company, made the formal endorsement on Monday.

"We speak the same language," Crutchfield said. "He understands that government should be run more like a business."

Just last year, the Crutchfield headquarters in Albemarle County hosted a rally for Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan.

"A year ago, he was standing with Paul Ryan, endorsing Paul Ryan, and today he's actually here supporting my candidacy," McAuliffe said. "Government should run like business. Efficient, making sure you protect the tax payer dollars, make sure you are doing the best efficiencies that you have."

McAuliffe toured the new Crutchfield retail location in Albemarle County to check out the latest technologies and to speak with its founder, who both grew his business and created jobs in the commonwealth. Crutchfield's operations are all based in Virginia.

"We have to think globally," McAuliffe said. "How do we compete to build those 21st-century jobs, and you look what Bill Crutchfield has built here."

Crutchfield says his decision for the endorsement is not based on ideology, but rather the future of Virginia.

"The right type of leadership is bipartisan leadership, and I don't think we could have that with [Republican gubernatorial nominee] Ken Cuccinelli," Crutchfield said.

The endorsement shows an unusual move for Crutchfield. Donation records show since 1992, 90 percent of campaign contributions, amount to nearly $77,000, has gone to Republicans. Just 9 percent has gone to Democrats.

"We need more statesmen, people like [Republican Gov.] Bob McDonnell, like Terry McAuliffe, who can compromise, who can meet with people of different ideological views and come up with a solution to these problems."

The endorsement, though, could have some business implications. There was at least one customer at the store on Monday who said she and some others will take their business elsewhere, all based on the endorsement.

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