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McAuliffe Starts New Fundraising Committee for Governor

Terry McAuliffe gestures as he speaks in headshot
Terry McAuliffe speaks at a press conference in 2014. (Craig Carper/VPM News)

Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe has formed a new committee to raise funds for a possible gubernatorial run, according to paperwork filed with the Department of Elections.

A spokesman for McAuliffe insisted the paperwork did not indicate that the former entrepreneur had decided to run for his old post.

The new candidate committee is called Virginians for Common Good and lists Terry McAuliffe as a Democratic candidate for governor in 2021. The groups are typically formed ahead of a formal announcement for higher office.

But Brennan Bilberry, a spokesman for McAuliffe, said in a statement that the new committee “represents a paperwork change suggested by our accountant and lawyer.”

“Governor McAuliffe is making no decisions on 2021 until after we defeat Donald Trump and his hateful ideology,” Bilberry said.

While McAuliffe has kept busy fundraising and stumping for former Vice President Joe Biden, his own campaign finances haven’t suffered. McAuliffe’s old fundraising committee raised $1.7 million in the first half of this year. 

The longtime Democratic fundraiser served as governor from 2014 to 2018 after serving in several other posts, including chair of the Democratic National Committee. He’s made no secret of his interest in his old job. 

“I like executive leadership,” McAuliffe told VPM in an interview earlier this week.

Virginia’s constitution prevents consecutive runs for governor, but allows it if there’s a break in between.

Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy (D-Prince William), who announced her own run earlier this year, quickly moved to characterize McAuliffe as out of touch with the state he once ran.

"The politics of the past are not the change we need, and the politicians of the past won’t save us," the criminal defense attorney said in a statement. 

Sen. Jennifer McClellan (D-Richmond) is also competing for Democrats’ support. The campaign's political director, Nichole Wescott Hayes, also cast McAuliffe as a politician from a different era.

"This election is going to be about which candidate has the vision for Virginia's future, not trying to relive the past," Hayes said in a statement.

Either McClellan or Caroll Foy could be the first Black woman to become governor in the U.S. 

Editor's note: This article has been updated to include comments from the McClellan campaign.

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