Jewish Insider: Terry ‘The Macher’ McAuliffe attempts a return to Richmond - Terry McAuliffe

Jewish Insider: Terry ‘The Macher’ McAuliffe attempts a return to Richmond

Last month, Virginia completed its most progressive General Assembly session in history, with legislation setting a path for legalizing marijuana, abolishing the death penalty, expanding voting access and allowing state health care plans to cover abortion.

“We have the biggest, broadest coalition of anybody,” McAuliffe told JI. “So I would say, yeah, we’re getting people who are actually excited.” He cited the progressive priorities that he backed during his previous term as governor from 2014 to 2018, including his support for criminal justice reforms and reproductive rights. But perhaps McAuliffe’s strongest case is pure electoral math: “I’m the only person in 44 years who’s broken the horrible curse [that] whoever wins the White House, the other party wins the governor’s mansion,” he said. 

McAuliffe told JI he has not yet met specifically with members of Virginia’s Jewish community during his campaign, citing the COVID-19 pandemic. But he noted that many prominent Jewish Democrats have come out in support of his campaign. “My top supporter, of course, is Eileen Filler-Corn, who is speaker [of the House] and a leader in the Jewish community,” McAuliffe said. “I want Virginia to be open and welcoming. I do not tolerate any, any type of racism [or] antisemitism.” In a statement to Jewish Insider, Filler-Corn reiterated her support for McAuliffe: “I know Terry has the experience and determination we need to move Virginia forward into a stronger, more equitable future,” she said.   … “It’s just my impression that Terry’s success, when he had a majority in neither house of the Virginia state legislature, was remarkable,” said Moline, who served as co-chair of the Commonwealth Commission on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion that McAuliffe formed after the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville in August 2017. …
But Kidd told JI that McAuliffe was always seen as a progressive — or at the very least, a major departure from previous Virginia Democrats. “McAuliffe’s victory in Virginia was kind of a watershed for Democrats, in the sense that McAuliffe was the first guy to run for governor, the first person ever probably in Virginia to run for governor, who essentially ran on a pro-gun control platform,” Kidd said. (Gov. Doug Wilder signed a gun control measure in 1993, limiting Virginians to one handgun purchase per month.) … McAuliffe is attempting to appeal to a range of voters: “I have a very progressive record. I have a very pro-jobs record,” he told JI.

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