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McAuliffe announces campaign for governor

Published: Dec. 9, 2020 at 7:25 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ) - Former Governor Terry McAuliffe wants another term as Virginia’s chief executive.

Wednesday morning, he promised decisive action to improve public education as he announced his campaign for the Democratic nomination.

“I am running for governor again to think big and be bold,” McAuliffe said, “and to take the Commonwealth of Virginia to the next level, and to lift up all Virginians.”

McAuliffe made his announcement outside Miles Jones Elementary School in Richmond.

The centerpiece of his campaign, McAuliffe said, is the largest investment in public education in the history of Virginia: $2 billion a year.

“I’m going to dramatically increase teacher pay,” McAuliffe said. “We are going to ensure that every single student in Virginia is online. We’re going to ensure that every three- and four-year-old child at risk here in Virginia gets pre-school education, and finally address the inequities we have in our schools.”

As a former Governor, and a formidable fundraiser, McAuliffe enters the race as a frontrunner. But he has opposition in his own party, including Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy, Sen. Jennifer McClellan and Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax. Del. Lee Carter has also filed paperwork, and said he’s considering a bid.

“Career politicians like Terry McAuliffe are interested in maintaining the status quo. But Virginians are calling for change,” Carroll Foy said in a written statement. “While I respect Terry McAuliffe’s service,” she said, “he doesn’t understand the problems Virginians face. A former political party boss and multi-millionaire, Terry McAuliffe is simply out of touch with everyday Virginians.”

“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,” McClellan said in a news release. “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.”

McAuliffe responded in an interview with WDBJ7 Wednesday afternoon.

“Look at the folks who’ve endorsed me, the majority of the leadership of the General Assembly who worked with me. The most prominent African-American women in the state, our House Majority Leader, our Senate Pro-Tem Louise Lucas, they’re chairs of my campaign,” McAuliffe said. “I took big, bold actions. I’m ready to do it again, but I’d love to do it with a Democratic legislature.

Democrats will choose their nominee with a statewide primary June 8.

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