Terry McAuliffe, the exuberant former Virginia governor and longtime fixture of Democratic politics, won the party’s nomination Tuesday in his quest for a second term in office.
McAuliffe won every county in the commonwealth.
McAuliffe will go on to face GOP nominee and political newcomer Glenn Youngkin in the November general election.
“We launched this campaign about six months ago with a simple idea that Virginia has some very big challenges ahead. And I’ve said we’ve got to go back. We’ve got to be bold, and we need seasoned leadership to move us forward and to lift up all Virginians,” said McAuliffe, speaking at a victory party in Tysons, close to his McLean home.
Virginia is the only state in the nation with an open race for governor this year, and the contest is expected to be closely watched as a barometer of voter sentiment in each party heading into the midterm elections. Virginia Republicans have not won a statewide race in over a decade.
McAuliffe, a longtime Democratic Party fundraiser and a close friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton, held office from 2014 to 2018. Like all Virginia governors, he was prohibited from seeking a consecutive term. He jumped into the race in December after deciding in 2019 against a run for president.
McAuliffe’s Republican opponent – Glenn Youngkin – offered this statement shortly after learning of McAuliffe’s victory:
“While we differ mightily as to how to best serve Virginians, I want to thank the five contenders in today’s primary for running. I welcome Terry McAuliffe to the race and look forward to presenting our competing ideas for Virginia’s future.”