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Democrats on McAuliffe entering governor’s race: (Yay)

Terry McAuliffe
Terry McAuliffe

Terry McAuliffe is running for a rare second term as governor of Virginia – technically, running for the Democratic Party nomination to run for governor.

He’s nowhere near a safe bet to get that nomination.

“I respect the work that former governor Terry McAuliffe has done. But to be frank, he is emblematic of the status quo that has simply left too many people behind,” said one of his upcoming primary opponents, Jennifer Carroll Foy, in a fundraising email that went out to her campaign list today.

Another nomination rival, Jennifer McClellan, played it nicer, but the message was just as biting.

“This election is going to be about who is best prepared – by life and public service record – with a forward-looking vision to take on the challenges facing Virginians in 2021. Today’s challenges require a new approach and a fresh vision to rebuild an economy that benefits all Virginians while addressing healthcare, education, climate and inequity crises,” McClellan said.

McAuliffe served as governor from 2014-2018, and failed to get the then-Republican-majority state legislature to enact what he had hoped would be his signature measure – Medicaid expansion.

His successor, Ralph Northam, before bumbling his way through the blackface controversy of 2019, was able to get Medicaid expansion done, and to his credit, he did it before Democrats won majorities in the General Assembly a year later.

So, there’s that, you know, lack of a feather in the cap for The Macker.

The guy who said he was in the blackface photo before he said he wasn’t in the blackface photo got something did that McAuliffe couldn’t.

Let that sink in.

Next issue: the crowded field.

It’s been no secret that McAuliffe was edging toward making another run for governor, and yet we have Carroll Foy, we have McClellan, we have the sitting lieutenant governor, Justin Fairfax, and maybe a fifth candidate, a NoVA state delegate, Lee Carter.

Hell, I’m thinking about running, because I’m a Democrat, and I have a pulse.

That’s where this is right now.

Imagine, though, if Mark Warner – music cue: angels from on high, singing “Hallelujah!” – were to decide that he’s had enough of the nonsense in Washington, and throw his hat into the ring.

It’d be the only hat, is my point.

McAuliffe has been not so stealthily running for months, and the nomination fight is a clown car.

No doubt he will raise – and spend – gobs of money.

This is likely why Carroll Foy is stepping down from her House of Delegates seat, because of the Virginia law that prohibits fundraising during the General Assembly session.

McClellan is, for now, anyway, keeping her Senate seat, and Fairfax, who as lieutenant governor has one job, to preside over the Senate, has similar considerations.

Then there’s the issue of: if he were to step down, one, would anybody even notice, and two, would it matter?

Fairfax, dogged by the sexual assault allegations that, ahem, coincidentally came to the fore in the days following the emergence of Northam’s blackface pictures, has as close to no chance as you can get for a guy who has a win in a statewide election on his resume.

So, McAuliffe may indeed be able to emerge from this group as the nominee.

Money talks, none of his opponents is all that well-known, and did I mention, money talks?

Don’t be surprised if it’s close, though – because it will be.

Story by Chris Graham

augusta free press
augusta free press