Former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has opted not to run for president.
After months of speculation, McAuliffe announced on Wednesday night that he would not seek the Democratic nomination in 2020. He revealed the news during an exclusive interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo.
McAuliffe had been considering a bid since leaving his role as Governor in January 2018 and recently seemed to be leaning towards declaring. Last week, he appeared at an event with union leaders and attracted substantial press coverage with his comments.
“Of all the candidates running, how many have actually wrestled a 280 pound, 8-foot alligator for a political contribution?” McAuliffe said. “I’m your man, folks . . . If I can wrestle an alligator, I can certainly wrestle Donald Trump!”
Instead of wrestling with Trump, McAuliffe said he would focus on flipping Virginia blue this November.
This is likely welcome news for Virginia Democrats, some of whom had made clear that his help was needed in the Commonwealth after a series of scandals roiled the Democratic Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General.
All 100 seats in the House of Delegates are on the ballot in November, as are all 40 Senate Seats. Republicans currently hold a 51-49 advantage in the House and a 21-19 edge in the Senate, but Democrats are hoping to flip both houses and gain their first trifecta since 1993.
McAuliffe, a renowned fundraiser, will no doubt play a key role in that fight.
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