McAuliffe to announce bid for second term as Virginia governor

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) is expected to announce his bid for a second term as governor on Wednesday, people close to the campaign told The Hill on Tuesday.

If elected, the 63-year-old Democrat would become the second governor since the Civil War to earn a second term, as Virginia bans back-to-back terms.

The former governor left office with positive ratings and low unemployment. But he will enter the race as three other Democrats seek the nomination: Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, Del. Jennifer D. Carroll Foy and state Sen. Jennifer L. McClellan. While McAuliffe is a white man, all three candidates are Black, and two are women.

The Washington Post reported that McAuliffe plans to announce in Richmond.

One of his opponents, Foy, responded to the news by labeling McAuliffe as one of the “career politicians” who “are interested in maintaining the status quo.”

“Our future demands a leader with vision, creativity, and tenacity to fight for what’s right. The status quo won’t do,” she said in a statement.

“While I respect Terry McAuliffe’s service, he doesn’t understand the problems Virginians face,” she added. “A former political party boss and multi-millionaire, Terry McAuliffe is simply out of touch with everyday Virginians.”

McClellan said in a November fundraising appeal that, “We respect his service to Virginia, but our campaign is about moving this Commonwealth forward, not back.”

“We know Terry’s network of donors is vast — and he’ll have ample resources to run a large, statewide campaign,” she added, according to the Post.

If either of the women won the primary, they have the chance to become the first Black female governor in the U.S.

But McAuliffe still has support among several lawmakers, including Virginia House Appropriations Vice Chairman Mark Sickles, who told the Times-Dispatch, “We need his energy and his attention to jobs and the economy, and getting people back to work safely.”

The campaign’s launch will call for more funding for education in the state, including increasing teacher salaries higher than the national average and combating inequity in education, the people close to the campaign said. 

McAuliffe will name Sen. L. Louise Lucas, House Majority Leader Charniele Herring and Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney as campaign co-chairs.

McAuliffe worked in Democratic politics for years but served his first elective office as governor starting in 2014. He won the governor’s race against Republican Ken Cuccinelli, who then served as the Virginia attorney general.

The former governor broke a streak since 1977 of Virginia electing a governor of a different party than the U.S. president, the Post noted. 

Updated: 8:15 p.m.

Tags 2021 Virginia gubernatorial election second term Virginia Virginia Governor Virginia gubernatorial election

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