The Richmond Times-Dispatch, which has been endorsing Republican presidential candidates since at least 1980, thinks its readers should avoid both major parties this time around. "Neither Donald Trump nor Hillary Clinton meets the fundamental moral and professional standards we have every right to expect of an American president, the paper's editorial board writes in a ringing endorsement of Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson—"the most capable and ethical candidate running this year." "We endorse him and look forward to a rejuvenating surprise in November—a new birth of freedom," the board writes.
The paper made the endorsement after the "optimistically, realistically presidential" Johnson, who governed New Mexico as a Republican, met with the editorial board, Politico notes. "Johnson’s clear and consistent support for limited government, free enterprise, social tolerance, and individual freedom appeals to our own philosophical leanings," the board writes. The board urges voters to "reject the binary choice between Clinton and Trump that was created by our two-party system"—and urges the debate commission to "perform a real service to its country" by allowing Johnson to join the presidential debates. (Johnson says it could be "game over" if he's not allowed to debate.)