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Saunders, a former top adviser for Sen. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerDemocrats confront 'Rubik's cube on steroids' Advocates call on top Democrats for 0B in housing investments Democrats draw red lines in spending fight MORE (D-Va.), former Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) and John Edwards's presidential campaign, rips McAuliffe as a "corporatist" and says he can't back his party's nominee.

"I can’t support a corporatist. I just can't. This guy is not my kind of Democrat," Saunders tells the Richmond Times-Dispatch. "I just can't sit here anymore and watch this coin-operated government continue. Wouldn't I be a hypocrite if I came to Richmond last year and jumped on Eric CantorEric Ivan CantorBottom line Virginia GOP candidates for governor gear up for convention Cantor: 'Level of craziness' in Washington has increased 'on both sides' MORE for it and then came back and supported Terry McAuliffe?"

Saunders also worked for Cantor's opponent last election cycle.

The populist-leaning strategist's support mirrors a recent endorsement from longtime GOP strategist Boyd Marcus, a former Cantor adviser who is working for his campaign.