Behind-the-scenes Democratic powerhouse Terry McAuliffe is stepping into the spotlight after announcing Wednesday that he is running for governor of Virginia in 2013.
“I’m running for Governor because I want to make Virginia home to the best educated, best-trained, and most-skilled workforce in the whole world,’’ the 55-year-old businessman said.
“And I’m convinced that if we have real leadership in state government — leadership that’s focused on working with businesses to grow the economy and bring jobs to Virginia — there is no limit to what we can accomplish."
McAuliffe is no stranger to leadership. He served as chairman of the Democratic national Committee from 2001 to 2005, was co-chairman of Bill Clinton’s 1996 successful re-election campaign, and chairman of Hillary Clinton’s failed 2008 presidential bid.
He attempted to run for Virginia governor in 2009, but was thwarted from getting the Democratic nomination.
McAuliffe, who will likely face Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli next year, said he is expecting a tough campaign.
“But we have our work cut out for us. We may not think much of their politics, but we can’t underestimate the energy and zeal that our political opponents will bring to this fight,’’ he said.
“After the 2012 elections, the Tea Party is growing stronger as they push more moderates out of the Republican Party. These extremists are more determined than ever to impose a radical agenda on Virginia families.
We need to be every bit as passionate about our mainstream campaign to grow the economy and create jobs.’’
McAuliffe’s announcement comes after Sen. Mark Warner announced last week that he would not seek to run for governor again.
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