In Sarvis, the man and the moment have met. He is running at a time of maximum distrust of established institutions, including the two major parties. …

During an intermission in the telecast of a notably disagreeable McAuliffe-Cuccinelli debate, viewers heard from their television sets a woman’s voice asking, “Can’t vote for these guys?” Then Sarvis’s voice:

“Like you, I can’t vote for Ken Cuccinelli’s narrow-minded social agenda. I want a Virginia that’s open-minded and welcoming to all. And like you, I don’t want Terry McAuliffe’s cronyism either, where government picks winners and losers. Join me, and together we can build a Virginia that’s open-minded and open for business.” …

Sarvis, who is 37 and may look that old in a decade or so, graduated from Harvard with a mathematics degree, earned a law degree from New York University and clerked in Mississippi for a judge on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. After a spell as a mathematics graduate student at Berkeley, Sarvis worked for a San Francisco tech startup, then earned a master’s degree in economics at George Mason University. In 2011, he ran as a Republican against the state Senate majority leader, a 31-year incumbent. Outspent 72-to-1, Sarvis got 36 percent of the vote.