What is the "value" of an endorsement?
As the June 20th primary approaches, candidates are receiving a series of endorsements.
The governor has a list of candidates he's endorsing. The folks at Planned Parenthood have a list of candidates they're supporting. And labor groups have their preferred candidates. David Ramadan is a former Republican member of the House of Delegates who is now at George Mason University's Schar School. And he says the most important endorsements come with a donation.
"Follow the money," explains Ramadan. "The ones that come with money are worthwhile. The ones that do not come with money are purely for public relations purposes."
Former House Democratic Leader David Toscano says sometimes an imbalance of endorsements can be telling, like in the Charlottesville area Senate race between incumbent Senator Creigh Deeds and Delegate Sally Hudson.
"You don't see any endorsements of House of Delegates members for Hudson even though she served with a lot of these folks for a long time," Toscano says. "And on Creigh's website, you see a lot of endorsements from his Senate colleagues. And, interestingly enough, you see a number of endorsements from House of Delegates members." (Editor's Note: After Toscano's interview and after this story originally published, Hudson's campaign added an endorsement from Del. Don Scott, the Democratic caucus leader in the House of Delegates, and four other Delegates to its website.)
Newspaper endorsements can also make an impact, like the famous 2009 endorsement from the Washington Post that helped Creigh Deeds snag the Democratic nomination to run for governor.