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Former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who has been mulling a presidential run for months, told CNN's Chris Cuomo in an interview late Wednesday that he will not be seeking the Democratic nomination in 2020.

Why it matters: McAuliffe said he's laser-focused to help Virginia Democrats flip the narrowly divided GOP-controlled General Assembly, where Republicans hold a 2-seat margin in both chambers, in this year's legislative contests. Virginia Democrats are trying to recover from a political turmoil after 2 of their top state leaders admitted earlier this year to wearing blackface in the past and another accused of sexual assault.

"Since February we've had a lot of problems there. We have the opportunity to pick up our House and Senate. To pick up both chambers with the governorship, [would] be the first time in 26 years. As governor, you know I had a record number of vetoes. There are bills I pushed through that just couldn't get through."
— McAuliffe told Cuomo

McAuliffe's move mirrors that of former U.S. attorney general Eric Holder, in which he decided in March not to join the crowded field of Democrats, saying he would instead work to chip away at Republicans’ sweeping control of the redistricting process before the 2020 census count.

"The folks we elect this year, they will be around in 2021 when they review all the [voting] maps. In fairness, this election will determine the next 10 years in Virginia. That's why I'm staying home and doing what I need to do to help Virginians."
— McAuliffe said

The backdrop: Reports indicated that McAuliffe, a prolific political fundraiser, had been waiting to see whether former Vice President Joe Biden would join the increasingly large and diverse Democratic field as both would run on the same centrist, establishment brand.

  • He originally said he would make his decision by March 31. Leading up to that date, the former governor toured early-primary states.

Go deeper: 2020 presidential election: Track which candidates are running

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Health

5 times as many police officers have died from COVID as from guns since pandemic began

Photo: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

COVID-19 is the leading cause of death for police officers even though members of law enforcement were among the first to be eligible to receive the vaccine, CNN reports, citing data from the Officer Down Memorial Page.

Why it matters: Nearly 476 police officers have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic started, compared to the 93 deaths as a result of gunfire in the same time period, according to ODMP and CNN.

Virginia energy giant quietly boosts McAuliffe

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe speaks during a campaign rally on Oct. 15 in Henrico, Virginia. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Virginia Democrat Terry McAuliffe has sworn off money from the Richmond company Dominion Energy. But the utility has found more subtle ways to back McAuliffe's gubernatorial bid, records show.

Driving the news: Dominion's political action committee has donated $200,000 to a murky political group called Accountability Virginia PAC, a group with ties to prominent Democrats that's been running ads attacking Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin from the right.

5 hours ago - Technology

Race and technology in America

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The technology industry is famously determined to change the world — but its efforts to diversify its workforce and remove bias from its products haven't changed nearly enough.