|72nd Governor of Virginia|
January 11, 2014 – January 13, 2018
|Preceded by||Bob McDonnell|
|Succeeded by||Ralph Northam|
|Chair of the National Governors Association|
July 17, 2016 – July 16, 2017
|Preceded by||Gary Herbert|
|Succeeded by||Brian Sandoval|
|Chair of the Democratic National Committee|
February 3, 2001 – February 12, 2005
|Preceded by||Ed Rendell (General Chair)|
Joe Andrew (National Chair)
|Succeeded by||Howard Dean|
Terence Richard McAuliffe
February 9, 1957
Syracuse, New York, U.S.
|Education||Catholic University (BA)|
Georgetown University (JD)
Terence Richard McAuliffe (born February 9, 1957) is an American politician who was the 72nd governor of Virginia from 2014 to 2018. A member of the Democratic Party, McAuliffe was co-chairman of President Bill Clinton's 1996 re-election campaign, chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2001 to 2005, and chairman of Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign. McAuliffe was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic nomination in the 2009 Virginia gubernatorial election.
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, McAuliffe ran unopposed in the Democratic primary, and then defeated Republican Ken Cuccinelli and Libertarian Robert Sarvis in the general election. McAuliffe is running for governor again, against Republican nominee Glenn Youngkin, in the 2021 gubernatorial election. McAuliffe won the Democratic primary on June 8, 2021. If McAuliffe wins the general election, he will be the first Virginia governor since Mills Godwin to serve two non-consecutive terms.
Early life and education
McAuliffe was born and raised in Syracuse, New York, the son of Mildred Katherine (née Lonergan) and Jack McAuliffe. His father was a real estate agent and local Democratic politician. The family is of Irish descent.
He graduated from Bishop Ludden Junior/Senior High School in 1975. In 1979, he earned a bachelor's degree from the Catholic University of America, where he served as a resident adviser. After graduating, McAuliffe worked for President Jimmy Carter's reelection campaign, becoming the national finance director at age 22. Following the campaign, McAuliffe attended Georgetown University Law Center, where he obtained his Juris Doctor degree in 1984.
At the age of 14, McAuliffe started his first business, McAuliffe Driveway Maintenance, sealing driveways and parking lots. According to The Washington Post, McAuliffe has "earned millions as a banker, real estate developer, home builder, hotel owner, and internet venture capitalist."
In 1985, McAuliffe helped found the Federal City National Bank, a Washington, D.C.–based local bank. In January 1988, when McAuliffe was thirty years old, the bank's board elected McAuliffe as chairman, making him the youngest chairman in the United States Federal Reserve Bank's charter association.: 75–76 In 1991, McAuliffe negotiated a merger with Credit International Bank, which he called his "greatest business experience." McAuliffe became the vice-chairman of the newly merged bank.
In 1979, McAuliffe had met Richard Swann, a lawyer who was in the charge of fundraising for Jimmy Carter's presidential campaign in Florida. In 1988, McAuliffe married Swann's daughter, Dorothy. In 1991, the Resolution Trust Corporation, a federal agency, took over the assets and liabilities of Swann's American Pioneer Savings Bank. Under Swann's guidance, McAuliffe purchased some of American Pioneer's real estate from the Resolution Trust Corporation. McAuliffe's equal partner in the deal was a pension fund controlled by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA). They purchased real estate valued at $50 million for $38.7 million; McAuliffe received a 50% equity stake. In 1996, McAuliffe acquired a distressed house-building company, American Heritage Homes, which was on the brink of bankruptcy. McAuliffe served as chairman of American Heritage. By 1998, McAuliffe had built American Heritage Homes into one of Central Florida's biggest homebuilding companies. By 1999, the company was building more than 1,000 single family homes per year. In late 2002, KB Home bought American Heritage Homes for $74 million.
In 1997, McAuliffe invested $100,000 as an angel investor in Global Crossing, a Bermuda–registered telecommunications company. Global Crossing went public in 1998. In 1999, McAuliffe sold the majority of his holding for $8.1 million. McAuliffe has faced criticism after making seven figures on his Global Crossing investment when the company declared bankruptcy a year later with 12,000 people losing their jobs.
In 2009, McAuliffe joined GreenTech Automotive, a holding company, which purchased Chinese electric car company EU Auto MyCar for $20 million in May 2010. Later that year, McAuliffe relocated GreenTech's headquarters to McLean, Virginia, and the manufacturing plant was later based in Mississippi. In December 2012, McAuliffe announced his resignation from GreenTech to focus on his run for governor of Virginia. In 2013, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigated GreenTech Automotive and McAuliffe for visa fraud. McAuliffe attempted to gain tax credits from the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP), the state’s business recruitment agency, to build GreenTech Automotive's factory in Virginia. He refused to supply the VEDP with proper documentation of their business strategy and investors, which caused the VEDP to decline economic incentives for GreenTech Automotive. McAuliffe later falsely claimed during his gubernatorial run that the VEDP was uncooperative and uninterested in GreenTech Automotive. In 2017, GreenTech Automotive investors sued McAuliffe for fraud, with the firm then declaring bankruptcy in 2018. McAuliffe gave 32 wealthy Chinese nationals EB-5 visas in exchange for $560,000 investments into GreenTech Automotive, which exceeded the Department of Homeland Security's determined quota for GreenTech Automotive.
Early political career
Relationship with the Clintons
McAuliffe had a prolific fundraising career within the Democratic Party and a personal and political relationship with Bill and Hillary Clinton. McAuliffe and his staff raised $275 million, then an unprecedented sum, for Clinton's causes while president. After Bill Clinton's tenure ended, McAuliffe guaranteed the Clintons' $1.35 million mortgage for their home in Chappaqua, New York. The deal raised ethical questions. In 1999, he served as chairman of America's Millennium Celebration under Clinton. In 2000, McAuliffe chaired a fundraiser with the Clintons to benefit Vice President Al Gore, setting a fundraising record of $26.3 million.
McAuliffe told to The New York Times in 1999, "I've met all of my business contacts through politics. It's all interrelated." When he meets a new business contact, he continued, "Then I raise money from them." He acknowledged that the success of his business dealings stemmed partly from his relationship with Bill Clinton, saying, "No question, that's a piece of it." He also credited his ties to former congressmen Dick Gephardt and Tony Coelho, his Rolodex of 5,000-plus names, and his ability to personally relate to people. In 2004, he was one of the five-member board of directors of the Clinton Foundation. He told New York Times reporter Mark Leibovich in 2012 that his Rolodex held 18,632 names.
2000 Democratic National Convention
In June 2000, as organizers of the 2000 Democratic National Convention were working to raise $7 million, convention chairman Roy Romer resigned to become superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District. McAuliffe immediately accepted appointment as Romer's replacement when asked on a phone call by presumptive presidential nominee Al Gore. Already in the news for a record $26 million fundraiser with Bill Clinton the month prior, McAuliffe promised that money would be a "non-issue" for the convention, and that the outstanding $7 million would be raised "very quickly". Many in the party praised McAuliffe's selection, which was widely seen to represent the growth in his influence, with James Carville telling The New York Times that "his stock is trading at an all-time high".
Chair of the Democratic National Committee
In February 2001, McAuliffe was elected chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and served until February 2005. During his tenure, the DNC raised $578 million and emerged from debt for the first time in its history. Prior to serving as chairman of the DNC, McAuliffe served as chairman of the DNC Business Leadership Forum in 1993 and as the DNC finance chairman in 1994.: 88, 210
In 2001, McAuliffe founded the Voting Rights Institute. In June 2001, McAuliffe announced the founding of the Hispanic Voter Outreach Project to reach more Hispanic voters.: 296–297 The same year, he founded the Women's Vote Center to educate, engage and mobilize women at the local level to run for office.: 297
In the period between the elections of 2002 and the 2004 Democratic convention, the DNC rebuilt operations and intra-party alliances. McAuliffe worked to restructure the Democratic primary schedule, allowing Arizona, New Mexico, Michigan and South Carolina to vote earlier; the move provided African-American and Hispanic communities and labor unions greater inclusion in presidential primaries. According to The Washington Post, the move bolstered United States Senator John Kerry's fundraising efforts. The DNC rebuilt its headquarters and McAuliffe built the Democratic Party's first National Voter File, a computer database of more than 175 million names known as "Demzilla." During the 2004 election cycle, the DNC hosted six presidential debates for the first time.
As chairman, McAuliffe championed direct mail and online donations and built a small donor base that eliminated the party's debt and, according to the Washington Post, “could potentially power the party for years”. Under his leadership, the DNC raised a total of $248 million from donors giving $25,000 or less during the 2003-2004 election cycle.
In January 2005, a few weeks before his term ended, McAuliffe earmarked $5 million of the party's cash to assist Tim Kaine and other Virginia Democrats in their upcoming elections. This donation was the largest non-presidential disbursement in DNC history, and was part of McAuliffe's attempt to prove Democratic viability in Southern states in the wake of the 2004 presidential election. Kaine was successful in his bid, and served as the governor of Virginia from 2006 to 2010.
In 2012, he was a visiting fellow at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. In addition to several faculty and student lectures, McAuliffe hosted a segment entitled "The Making of a Candidate: From Running Campaigns to Running on my Own."
2009 gubernatorial campaign
On November 10, 2008, McAuliffe formed an exploratory committee aimed at the Virginia gubernatorial election in 2009. According to The Washington Post, McAuliffe believed he would prevail "because he [could] campaign as a business leader who can bring jobs to Virginia." He also cited his ability to raise money for down-ticket Democratic candidates. McAuliffe raised over $7.5 million during the campaign and donated an additional $500,000 to himself.
In the primary election, McAuliffe faced two high-profile Democrats, State Senator Creigh Deeds, the 2005 Democratic nominee for Attorney General of Virginia, and Brian Moran, a former Virginia House of Delegates Minority Leader. On June 9, 2009, McAuliffe placed second with 26% of the vote; Deeds received 50% and Moran garnered 24%.
Governor of Virginia (2014–2018)
On November 8, 2012, McAuliffe emailed supporters announcing his intention to run for governor of Virginia in 2013. In his email he stated, "It is absolutely clear to me that Virginians want their next Governor to focus on job creation and common sense fiscal responsibility instead of divisive partisan issues."
On April 2, 2013, McAuliffe became the Democratic nominee, as he ran unopposed. In the general, McAuliffe campaigned against Republican nominee (and sitting Attorney General of Virginia) Ken Cuccinelli, and Libertarian nominee Robert Sarvis. McAuliffe pulled off an upset win, as Republicans had dominated recent state elections and Cuccinelli was seen as the outgoing Republican governor's hand-picked successor. McAuliffe won 47.8% of the vote; Cuccinelli collected 45.2%, and Sarvis garnered 6.5%. McAuliffe broke a 40-year trend and was the first candidate of the sitting president's party elected governor of Virginia since 1973.
McAuliffe took the oath of office on January 11, 2014. Following the ceremony, McAuliffe signed four executive orders, including one instituting a ban on gifts over $100 to members of the administration, and an order prohibiting discrimination against state employees for sexual orientation and gender identity. The other executive orders dealt with government continuity.
As governor, McAuliffe issued a record 120 vetoes. He vetoed bills mainly concerning social legislation, including women's rights, LGBTQ rights, the environment and voting rights. Throughout his term, the state legislature did not overturn any of the vetoes he issued. During his tenure, Virginia collected more than $20 billion in new capital investment, $7 billion more than any previous governor. He participated in more than 35 trade and marketing missions to five continents, more than any other preceding governor, to promote state tourism and other products.
In 2014, President Obama appointed McAuliffe to the Council of Governors. That same year, the Chesapeake Bay Program appointed him to chair its executive council. McAuliffe was elected as vice chair of the National Governors Association in July 2015 and became chair of the organization in July 2016. In June 2016, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization named McAuliffe "Governor of the Year".
In 2017, Governing named McAuliffe "Public Official of the Year" recognizing his economic development work in the state, including 200,000 new jobs created and a drop in unemployment. During his term, unemployment fell from 5.7% to 3.3% and personal income rose by 14.19%. PolitiFact noted McAuliffe, like many other governors, had little control over their state's economic performance, with Virginia's economy following national trends. Also in 2017, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia honored McAuliffe with the Brick Wall Award. That year, he was also named one of StateScoop's State Executives of the year. McAuliffe has repeated false claims that he turned a budget deficit into a surplus during his tenure.
McAuliffe, among registered voters in Virginia, maintained neutral-to-positive approval ratings during his tenure, but he was less popular than Bob McDonnell, Tim Kaine, and Mark Warner.
After the Republican-controlled Virginia House of Delegates blocked his plans to expand Medicaid, McAuliffe unveiled his own plan titled "A Healthy Virginia." He authorized four emergency regulations and issued one executive order allowing for use of federal funds (made available by the Affordable Care Act to any state seeking to expand its Medicaid program to increase the number of poor citizens who had access to health insurance). McAuliffe's last hope for full Medicaid expansion ended when a Democratic state senator, Phillip Puckett (D-Russell), resigned. As a result, Virginia Democrats' razor-thin majority in the state senate flipped in favor of the Republicans, giving them control of both halves of the state's legislature.
In addition to healthcare reform, a major initiative of the McAuliffe's administration over the first year was economic development, with McAuliffe using his business and political contacts to close deals for the commonwealth. He helped close a deal to bring Stone Brewing to Richmond and landed a $2 billion paper plant in the Richmond suburbs. McAuliffe also helped broker a deal with the Corporate Executive Board to locate its global headquarters in Arlington which created 800 new jobs. McAuliffe also worked deals to restore service in Norfolk from Carnival Cruise Lines and Air China service to Dulles International Airport. In February 2016, McAuliffe announced that Virginia was the first state to functionally end veteran homelessness. In 2017, McAuliffe announced that Nestle USA was moving its headquarters from California to Virginia. He had worked with the company for more than a year to secure the move. McAuliffe also helped with bringing Amazon's second headquarters to Virginia in 2018.
On April 22, 2016, McAuliffe signed an executive order restoring voting rights to more than 200,000 convicted felons in Virginia. The order was initially overturned by the Supreme Court of Virginia for violating the Constitution of Virginia, ruling that the Governor does not have the authority to grant blanket pardons and restorations of rights. On August 22, 2016, McAuliffe announced that he had restored the voting rights to almost 13,000 felons individually using an autopen. Republican leadership in the state filed a contempt-of-court motion against McAuliffe for the action, which the court dismissed. By the end of his term, McAuliffe had restored voting rights for 173,000 released felons, more than any governor in U.S. history. The blanket restoration has remained controversial, with individuals like convicted serial child sexual abuse felon Nathan Larson being granted suffrage. McAuliffe's blanket restoration was opposed by several Democratic Commonwealth's Attorneys, including Theo Stamos of Arlington County, Ray Morrogh of Fairfax County, and Paul Ebert of Prince William County; McAuliffe later retaliated against them by supporting progressive primary challengers seeking to oust Stamos and Morrogh with Ebert retiring.
On May 23, 2016, it was reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was investigating McAuliffe "over whether donations to his gubernatorial campaign violated the law." One example cited was a $120,000 donation from Chinese businessman Wang Wenliang. According to CNN, Wang's status as a legal permanent resident of the United States could make the donation legal under U.S. election law.
On January 31, 2017, McAuliffe appeared with Attorney General Mark Herring to announce that Virginia was joining the lawsuit Aziz v. Trump, challenging President Donald Trump's immigration executive order. On March 27, 2017, McAuliffe vetoed a bill that would have prevented sanctuary cities in Virginia.
While describing himself as "personally opposed" to death penalty, McAuliffe, presided over the three last executions carried in Virginia, before it was abolished in 2021 under his successor Ralph Northam. Governor McAuliffe also commuted two death sentences, that of Ivan Teleguz and William Joseph Burns.
After the 2016 presidential election, the media speculated McAuliffe could be a potential candidate in the 2020 United States presidential election. Speculation intensified after Democrat Ralph Northam won the 2017 Virginia gubernatorial election by a wider than expected margin, which media reports suggested strengthened his credibility.
McAuliffe initially called for Governor Ralph Northam to resign in 2019 after Northam's history of committing racially insensitive acts were made public; McAuliffe stated he regretted calling for Northam's resignation later that month. McAuliffe called for Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax's resignation following several allegations of sexual assault against Fairfax came-to-light in 2019; Fairfax called McAuliffe a "racist" for supporting his accusers. Fairfax stated that McAuliffe treated him like George Floyd and Emmett Till. Former Democratic governor Doug Wilder, who served as Virginia's first Black governor, criticized McAuliffe for inconsistency on race issues and supporting Ralph Northam and Mark Herring after they were outed for engaging in blackface, stating, "Is what Northam and Herring did all right by any standard?” Wilder also said that McAuliffe pushed aside Black politicians.
On April 17, 2019, McAuliffe announced that he would not pursue the presidency in 2020 and would support Democrats in the 2019 Virginia elections. After calling for Joe Morrissey's resignation from the House of Delegates for having sex with a female minor in 2015 -- Morrissey had employed her as a part-time receptionist -- McAuliffe campaigned for Morrissey in the 2019 elections with McAuliffe helping Morrissey raise campaign funds. McAuliffe said he "respect[ed]" Morrissey's fighting spirit at a campaign fundraiser for Morrissey.
2021 gubernatorial campaign
On December 8, 2020, McAuliffe posted a video to his Facebook page announcing his return campaign for governor. On June 8, 2021, McAuliffe won the Democratic primary, garnering 62% of the vote, defeating four other candidates. He will face Republican Glenn Youngkin in the general election. Their first debate was canceled after Youngkin refused to attend, citing his objection to moderator Judy Woodruff over a donation she made to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund in 2010; Youngkin has committed to three other debates with McAuliffe. McAuliffe announced his support for "Northam’s newly announced mask mandate" in August 2021. Also in August 2021, McAuliffe voiced his support for vaccine mandates.
In 2019, according to PolitiFact, McAuliffe made a "full flop" on late-term abortions, initially opposing a bill to deregulate them in February before supporting the same bill in April.
McAuliffe has spoken extensively on workforce development, with education proposals being funded through savings from the proposed Medicaid expansion.
Energy and environmental issues
McAuliffe believes human activity has contributed to global warming, and characterizes clean energy as a national security issue. He supports reducing dependence on foreign oil through investment in technologies such as carbon capture and storage, solar farms, and offshore wind turbines. Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer and the League of Conservation Voters endorsed McAuliffe.
In his 2009 campaign, McAuliffe said, "I want to move past coal. As governor, I never want another coal plant built." In his 2013 campaign, McAuliffe said he supported tougher safety requirements on coal plants. He also announced his support for the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan, which would limit the amount of carbon dioxide that could be emitted by power plants, making it difficult to build new coal-fired plants and to keep old ones operating.
In 2017, McAuliffe filed a request with the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management that Virginia's coastal areas be excluded from a program to open up the East Coast to offshore drilling.
In May 2017, McAuliffe issued an executive order for Virginia to become a member of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) to cut greenhouse gases from power plants. It was the first southern state to join.
McAuliffe is a hunter and owns several shotguns. McAuliffe supports universal background checks for gun sales, as well as "a renewal of the state's one-a-month limit on handgun purchases,... a ban on anyone subject to a protection-from-abuse order from having a gun and the revoking of concealed-handgun permits for parents who are behind on child-support payments." McAuliffe has also called for an assault weapons ban in Virginia.
In January 2016, McAuliffe reached a compromise with Republicans, allowing interstate holders of concealed carry permits in Virginia, nullifying Attorney General Mark Herring's previous ruling, effective February 1, 2016. The deal will also take guns from domestic abusers and will require state police to attend gun shows to provide background checks upon request from private sellers.
In August 2018, McAuliffe stated "that's something we ought to look at", referring to President Trump's impeachment. He argued that if "President Obama had gone to Helsinki and done what President Trump had done, you would already have impeachment hearings going on."
McAuliffe was among those who supported the bipartisan transportation bill that passed the General Assembly in 2013. He is in favor of the Silver Line, which would expand Metrorail services into Fairfax and Loudoun counties.
McAuliffe married Dorothy Swann on October 8, 1988. They reside in McLean, Virginia with their five children. Their son Jack attended the United States Naval Academy and became a Marine.
Terry McAuliffe's memoir, What a Party! My Life Among Democrats: Presidents, Candidates, Donors, Activists, Alligators, and Other Wild Animals, was published in 2007 with Steve Kettmann and made the New York Times Best Seller List, debuting at #5 in February 2007.
Among anecdotes told in the memoir was McAuliffe wrestling an eight-foot, 260-pound alligator for three minutes to secure a $15,000 contribution for President Jimmy Carter in 1980. McAuliffe and the alligator would appear on the cover of Life magazine. Others included hunting with King Juan Carlos of Spain, golf outings with President Bill Clinton, and reviving the Democratic National Convention. McAuliffe also wrote about the September 11 attacks and his experiences in the Democratic National Committee office immediately after. McAuliffe was criticized for writing he felt like a "caged rat" when he was unable to raise campaign funds for the Democratic Party after 9/11, left his wife crying with their newborn child to raise money for the Democrats, and left his wife in the delivery room to attend a party for a Washington Post reporter.
McAuliffe ran unopposed in the 2013 Virginia gubernatorial Democratic primary.
|Democratic||Jennifer Carroll Foy||98,052||19.81|
|Democratic||Lee J. Carter||13,694||2.77|
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