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McAuliffe Favors Gubernatorial Run Over Biden Cabinet Post

Man and woman
In 2015 as governor, Terry McAuliffe made an appearance with then presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. (Photo: Craig Carper/VPM News)

Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe says he’ll make up his mind on whether he’ll run for governor within a week of election day.

His current focus, he told VPM in an interview on Monday, remains on electing his “very good friend,” former Vice President Joe Biden.

If Biden wins, there’s been speculation McAuliffe could serve in his administration. But the former Virginia governor said he’s got a different focus.

“I like executive leadership,” McAuliffe said. “You never say never, but being in someone’s Cabinet -- I’m not sure that’s the best use of my time.” 

What’s more appealing, McAuliffe said, is leading Virginia’s economic recovery as governor, touting job growth and a budget surplus under his tenure as governor.

“But I will not make that final decision until Joe Biden gets elected, because I really want everybody’s energies going into that,” McAuliffe said.

McAuliffe’s fundraising arm raised $1.7 million through the end of June, exceeding his potential rivals. Under Virginia’s constitution, McAuliffe can run again since his terms wouldn’t be consecutive. 

McAuliffe said he’s on eight to ten Zoom calls a day, talking up Biden to donors and other supporters. He has continued that work as Democrats hold their first ever virtual national convention on Monday; McAuliffe oversaw the in-person event in 2004 during his tenure as chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

Two other Democrats -- state Sen. Jennifer McClellan and Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy -- have already announced their own plans to run for governor.

Either would be the first African American woman to hold the post. 

Ben Paviour covers courts and criminal justice for VPM News with a focus on accountability.
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