Pre-emptive strike? McAuliffe announces candidacy for governor
With speculation swirling around Mark Warner and his rumored consideration of a run for the Democratic Party nomination for governor in 2013, another prominent Democrat has thrown his hat into the ring for the nomination.
“I want to be straightforward with you: I plan on running for Governor of Virginia in 2013,” McAuliffe wrote in an email sent to supporters from his 2009 run for the Democratic Party nomination on Thursday.
McAuliffe fell short in that three-way race that ended with Bath County State Sen. Creigh Deeds getting the nod to run against Republican Bob McDonnell. McDonnell then trounced Deeds in the November election, keying a statewide Republican sweep.
McDonnell’s ticketmates, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, have both announced their intentions to run for the GOP gubernatorial nomination in 2013. McAuliffe had long been considered to be in the mix on the Democratic side, and had worked hard to maintain a high profile in the Old Dominion in the years following his primary defeat.
Former Fifth District Congressman Tom Perriello is also reported to be considering a run for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.
But it is Warner’s public musing over what to do regarding 2013 that had seemed to throw a monkey wrench into all things Democratic. Warner said on Election Night that he has given himself a Thanksgiving deadline to make up his mind about his near-future plans.
McAuliffe’s announcement of his own plans on Thursday could either be a sign that Warner has already made his mind up – or that McAuliffe isn’t planning to step aside quietly in the event that Warner decides to run.
“Over the past four years, I’ve traveled to every corner of Virginia for over 2,400 meetings and events. It is absolutely clear to me that Virginians want their next governor to focus on job creation and common sense fiscal responsibility instead of divisive partisan issues. If we want Virginia to be the best place for business, we need leaders who prioritize economic growth and move beyond the political issues that are designed to divide us,” McAuliffe wrote in his email to 2009 supporters.