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GOP state legislature PAC rolls out ad hitting McAuliffe, Virginia Democrats on education

Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe campaigns outside the Fairfax County Government Center in Fairfax, Va., as the state opens the polls for the first day of early voting on Friday, September 17, 2021.
Greg Nash

The Republican State Leadership Committee PAC on Thursday rolled out a new ad tying Democratic candidates running in Virginia House of Delegates races to Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe’s recent comments on whether parents should tell schools what to teach students. 

The spot, which was first released to The Hill, features a clip of McAuliffe from last week’s gubernatorial debate saying, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” 

The ad is the latest effort from Republicans to hit McAuliffe over the comments. Republican gubernatorial nominee Glenn Youngkin released an ad last week criticizing the former governor’s comments, while the conservative American Principles Project PAC rolled out an ad on Wednesday highlighting McAuliffe’s comments. 

Additionally, Youngkin’s campaign announced the formation of its family-led mobilization effort called “Parents Matter” this week. 

But the subject of education was a hot topic up and down the ballot in Virginia before McAuliffe’s comments last week. The debate over critical race theory prominently emerged in Loudoun County school board meetings this year along with the debate over transgender rights in schools. 

The issue has also played a major part in the GOP’s strategy to take back the House of Delegates, which Democrats currently control 55 to 45. 

“Virginia House Democrats have already declared war on Virginia parents by voting to keep schools closed and to protect racially divisive curriculum, all while test scores in the commonwealth plummet,” RSLC communications director Andrew Romeo told The Hill. “And in refusing to denounce Terry McAuliffe’s reckless position that the government knows better than parents about what is best for their kids, Richmond liberals have proven once again that they are too weak to stand up for the future of Virginia’s students.” 

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