Democrat Terry McAuliffe has said for months that he likely would make his candidacy for governor official after the presidential election.
The former Democratic National Committee Chairman didn’t waste much time.
McAuliffe, who lives in McLean, told supporters in phone calls and by email today that he will make a long-expected run for governor in 2013.
“I want to be straightforward with you: I plan on running for Governor of Virginia in 2013,” McAuliffe wrote in an email.
“Over the past four years, I’ve traveled to every corner of Virginia for over 2,400 meetings and events,” McAuliffe said. “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, a close friend and political ally of former President Bill Clinton, made an unsuccessful run for governor in 2009. He finished a distant second in a three-way primary that was won by state Sen. Creigh Deeds of Bath County. Deeds lost the general election to Republican Bob McDonnell.
McAuliffe is the first Democrat to make his gubernatorial plans official. U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., a former governor, has flirted with the possibility of making another run for his old job. Warner said Tuesday he will make a final decision about his political future by Thanksgiving. He has told Democrats not to wait for him to make a decision if they want to line up behind another gubernatorial candidate.
Warner campaigned vigorously for fellow Democrat Tim Kaine, who won Tuesday’s election for Virginia”s other U.S. Senate seat. In a campaign ad and on the trail, Warner and Kaine said they would function as an effective team in the Senate, where Warner has been working to build a bipartisan coalition to tackle the federal deficit and debt.
Kaine said Wednesday that he wants Warner to remain in the Senate, but will leave the decision to him.
“I think Mark is doing some really important work,” Kaine said. “That bridge-building is being done and what Mark’s doing with the ‘Gang of Six’ and others is not just fiscal, it’s the effort to rebuild these traditions of comity”
Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli will battle for the Republican gubernatorial nomination next year. The GOP will select its ticket in a state convention. Democrats will hold an open primary to choose its statewide nominees.
– Michael Sluss