Former Governor of Virginia Terry McAuliffe entered the race for his old job on Wednesday, offered himself as a trusted caretaker at a time of economic and public health crisis, and someone prepared to fight “old acts”.
“Again, I’m going for the governor to strive for great thinking and boldness, and to take the Virginia Commonwealth to another level, and to elevate all Virginia,” Mr. McAuliffe said in a short speech in front of the state Richmond State School in the capital.
McAuliffe, 63, has officially started his campaign with four senior elected officials, all of whom are black. This suggestion was the complex nature of both the relations nurtured during his 2014-2018 rule and the state’s pre-election in 2021, in which three black candidates had already announced their candidacy to nominate Democrats.
Mr. McAuliffe’s campaign for 2021 has been an open secret in Virginia for months — called Joseph R. Biden Jr. a “former and future governor” at a March campaign meeting – and McAuliffe’s allies claimed his coalition was very similar to Mr. Biden’s, a fundamental group of black voters and suburban residents. who sent Mr. Biden to the White House.
“We need to unleash the black community from the crippling epidemic because it knows it has hit black communities, black communities and brown communities harder than everyone else,” said L. Louise Lucas, president of the Virginia State Senate, as he introduced . Mr. McAuliffe on Wednesday. “We need his experience and his tried leadership, his tried leadership, his tried leadership.”
Virginia’s governor’s race will be the first test of the post-Trump Democratic coalition. For four years, culminating in the 2020 democratic presidential election, party voters have prioritized eligibility, choosing more moderate candidates who have faced liberal firefighters in almost every race series.
Mr. McAuliffe, the fourth Democrat who competed in the 2021 governor’s race, joined three black candidates who had been campaigning for months: Jennifer McClellan, state senator; Jennifer Carroll Foy, who resigned from her House of Delegates on Tuesday to campaign full-time for the governor; and Governor Justin Fairfax.
But unlike the presidential race in which Mr. Biden sold his election to President Trump, the Democrat who comes up in Virginia’s June election will be a difficult favorite over the Republican challenger.
Virginia has become increasingly democratic since 2009, the last time Republicans won a nationwide office. The party won control of the state legislature in 2019, and Mr. Biden bore the state by 10 percentage points last month.
The Republican field already seems broken, Amanda Chase, the Republican state senator who stands after Mr. Trump, announced last weekend that he will run as an independent candidate rather than ask for the Republican Party to be nominated at next year’s state congress. Kirk Cox, the former Speaker of the House of Delegates, is calling for a Republican nomination, and Pete Snyder, a wealthy marketing executive, may soon join the GOP’s primary competition.
At the same time, some Virginia Liberals have declared their willingness to elect Ms. McClellan or Ms. Carroll Foy, any of whom would be the nation’s first black governor. Virginia has never elected a woman as governor, and since 1989 she has not elected a woman to public office.
Ms. Carroll Foy, the youngest candidate in the field, 39 years old, was not ashamed to have attacked Mr. McAuliffe as a being of the past.
“Career politicians like Terry McAuliffe have an interest in maintaining the status quo,” he said in a statement Tuesday night. “But the Virginia people are calling for change.” They want someone who understands their problems like me because I lived through them. While I respect Terry McAuliffe’s service, he does not understand the problems that Virginiaans face. Terry McAuliffe, a former political party boss and multimillionaire, is simply unrelated to everyday Virginia. “
Ms. McClellan, while not directly attacking Mr. McAuliffe, cited her own “life experience” in a statement released Wednesday as evidence that she would be the best governor in the area.
Mr McAuliffe said Wednesday he would focus his campaign on helping the state’s economy recover from the aftermath of the coronavirus epidemic, promising to invest in Virginia’s largest public education and calling on black voters in the June democratic pre-election.
He also relied heavily on his former governorship, arguing that fighting with Republicans at the time led the Virginia General Assembly. In the same breath, Mr. McAuliffe promoted his position as governor and advocated a new approach to leading the state government.
“The old Richmond approach simply no longer works,” he said. “People, it’s time for a new trip to Virginia.” I know this old way of thinking because as a governor I have fought against it over and over again.
Mr. McAuliffe has long been a recognized national and Virginia side of democracy politics. He’s close enough to former President Bill Clinton to have the two men talk every day and claims to make more than 100 phone calls a day. Former chairman of the National Democratic Commission, Mr. McAuliffe, ran twice for governor of Virginia, losing the bitter 2009 pre-election before winning in 2013. He also considered a 2020 presidential campaign, but bowed in April 2019 after it emerged that Mr. Biden would seek a nomination for the Democratic Party.
He spent the remainder of 2019 campaigning and fundraising for Democrats running for state seats in Virginia, helping the party seize control of the state senate and delegates ’house for the first time in a generation.
Virginia’s current governor, Democrat Ralph Northam, is barred by state laws from seeking a second consecutive term. McAuliffe wants to become the second Virginia governor since the Civil War to be elected twice, following Mills Godwin Jr., who was elected Democrat in 1965 and Republican in 1973.
Virginia’s prime ministerial quizzes, which follow in the year after the presidential election, have been seen for decades as an opportunity for the party losing the White House to take control of a large state government. Mr. McAuliffe’s victory over Republican Ken Cuccinelli in 2013 is the only time the party holding the presidency has also won the Virginia governor’s mansion since Mr. Godwin’s 1973 election.