Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) officially threw his support behind Terry McAuliffe to succeed him, an endorsement that will likely further boost McAuliffe's standing as the front-runner in the Democratic gubernatorial primary race.
Northam first unveiled the endorsement in a statement shared with The Associated Press, and later confirmed it via Twitter.
The current governor, who was preceded by McAuliffe, cannot serve a successive term in office under Virginia law.
Northam said Thursday that McAuliffe’s “strong record of delivering for Virginians is exactly why we need him as our next governor.”
“We will need bold leadership ready to build a more equitable post-COVID economy that creates jobs, invests in workers, ensures equitable access to quality affordable health care, and rebuilds Virginia’s thriving network of small businesses,” he added.
McAuliffe, who was chairman of the Democratic National Committee and co-chairman of President Clinton's reelection campaign, later shared the AP article on Twitter, writing he was “honored” to have Northam’s backing.
“Governor Northam has been leading Virginia through this crisis so he knows exactly what it's going to take to rebuild from the pandemic: bold plans and tested leadership,” he tweeted.
Governor Northam has been leading Virginia through this crisis so he knows exactly what it's going to take to rebuild from the pandemic: bold plans and tested leadership.— Terry McAuliffe (@TerryMcAuliffe) April 8, 2021
I am honored to have his support. https://t.co/q7ktlLqFpB
McAuliffe has already received a number of notable endorsements, including from Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiBiden pushes back at Democrats on taxes Yarmuth and Clyburn suggest .5T package may be slimmed Of partisan fights and follies, or why Democrats should follow Manchin, not Sanders MORE (D-Calif.), as well as Virginia House Majority Leader Charniele Herring (D), Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney (D) and state Sen. L. Louise Lucas (D), who are serving as his campaign co-chairs.
Late last month, Rep. Elaine LuriaElaine Goodman LuriaConservative group targets Spanberger, Luria in new ads ahead of reconciliation bill Virginia races offer an early preview of Democrats' midterm challenges House panel approves B boost for defense budget MORE (D-Va.) endorsed McAuliffe, becoming the first member of the commonwealth’s congressional delegation to back him.