(POLITICO) — A major Virginia newspaper announced on Sunday that it “cannot in good conscience” endorse Terry McAuliffe or Ken Cuccinelli in the state’s gubernatorial race, which has shaped up to be a deeply negative contest.

“We find it impossible to endorse any of the 2013 candidates with even minimal zeal,” opined the Richmond Times-Dispatch in a lengthy opinion article.

The newspaper, which endorsed Mitt Romney for president and has a history of endorsing Republicans for governor, blasts GOP candidate Cuccinelli for the way he clinched the nomination. He “rigged the process,” the article charges. It also challenges his approach to hot-button social issues, as well as to subjects like transportation funding.

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