Apr 8, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Ralph Northam backs predecessor Terry McAuliffe for Virginia governor

Northam and McAuliffe.

Terry McAuliffe and Ralph Northam during a campaign rally in Richmond, Va. in 2017. Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam on Thursday will endorse his predecessor Terry McAuliffe in the race to succeed him, AP reports.

Why it matters: The endorsement could give McAuliffe a boost ahead of the state's gubernatorial Democratic primary, set to take place in June. Northam's endorsement is thought to carry weight in the contest, on the back of a tenure which saw Virginia shift dramatically to the left.

  • McAuliffe will face off against former Virginia Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy and state Sen. Jennifer McClellan — both of whom would make history as the nation's first Black female governors — as well as Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax and Del. Lee Carter.
  • Polling has indicated McAuliffe is leading the race. He would be the first person since the 1970s to serve non-consecutive terms as Virginia’s governor.

What he's saying: “Terry’s strong record of delivering for Virginians is exactly why we need him as our next governor,” Northam said in a statement obtained by AP.

  • “We will need bold leadership ready to build a more equitable post-COVID economy that creates jobs, invests in workers, ensures equitable access to quality affordable health care, and rebuilds Virginia’s thriving network of small businesses.”
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