“Right Thing” Highlights Eric Branch, One of 173,000 Virginians Who Received A Second Chance After Terry McAuliffe Restored Their Voting Rights As Governor
As Highlighted in Recent Washington Post Op-Ed, Terry Will Permanently Codify the Restoration of Voting Rights During First Year as Governor
MCLEAN, VA – Terry for Virginia launched a new digital video ad today, “Right Thing,” running across Facebook, YouTube, Hulu, Roku, and additional ad networks, which highlights Eric Branch’s story about having his voting rights restored by Terry McAuliffe. As Virginia’s 72nd Governor, Terry fought tirelessly to reverse a racist Jim Crow-era law that disenfranchised Virginians previously convicted of felonies, and he restored voting rights to more than 173,000 Virginians – more than any governor in American history. Eric joined Terry in 2016 when Terry announced he would individually restore voting rights to hundreds of thousands of Virginians, after Republicans sued twice to try to stop him. Earlier this year, Terry for Virginia released the first video ad of the 2021 cycle highlighting another powerful story from a Virginian, Richmond Public Schools educator Dr. Milondra Coleman, and Terry’s plan to make the biggest, boldest investment in education in Virginia history.
In this recent ad, Eric Branch says, “I ended up going to prison in 1988. I was trying to get fast money to support and take care of my family, and I felt that I deserved a second chance. Terry McAuliffe, he has proven himself to be a leader and to push for change for individuals.”
Terry emphasizes the importance of restoring voting rights in the ad. Terry McAuliffe says, “This was the day I restored the voting rights of over 200,000 felons to give them the right to vote back. So in Virginia, if you were a felon you could never vote for the rest of your life. This was remnants of Jim Crow, and it needed to end in Virginia,”
In January, Terry released a bold Plan of Action for a Fairer Commonwealth to reform Virginia’s criminal justice system. Terry’s new plan builds on the progress he made as governor by focusing on second chances and rehabilitation, and righting the wrongs inherent in a criminal justice system that has unfairly targeted Black and Brown Virginians for generations. As governor, Terry will work tirelessly to ensure the passage of the second resolution needed to permanently codify the restoration of voting rights in Virginia’s constitution during the first year of his administration. Terry shared his vision on restoration on rights in a recent op-ed he penned for the Washington Post.
As Virginia’s 72nd Governor, Terry championed progressive criminal justice reforms, despite facing repeated opposition from a Republican legislature. In addition to restoring 173,000 Virginians’ voting rights, he issued 227 pardons, more than any governor before him. Terry transformed Virginia’s juvenile justice system, reduced the population of incarcerated youths by nearly two-thirds, and provided free transportation for families to support visitation. Terry also invested millions of dollars in re-entry programs, alternatives to incarceration, and mental health and substance use disorder services. Under Terry’s leadership, Virginia achieved the lowest recidivism rate in the nation for the first time at 23.4%.
Since launching his campaign in December, Terry has released big, bold plans to strengthen Virginia’s education system and dramatically increase teacher pay, help secure Virginia’s economic recovery from COVID-19, reform our criminal justice system to create a more equitable Virginia, ensure Virginians have access to regular nutritious meals, address the broken, predatory system of prescription drug pricing, boldly confront the gun violence epidemic, make Virginia the best state in the nation for Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Healthcare (STEM-H) and computer science education, tackle the housing crisis in the Commonwealth and invest in Virginia’s workforce to create a more equitable post-COVID economy, ensure Virginians have access to high-quality, affordable health care, and tackle climate change and secure Virginia’s clean energy future by 2035.
To read more about Terry’s big, bold plans for Virginia’s future, visit www.TerryMcAuliffe.com.