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Candidates for Virginia governor square off in first debate


Posted September 19 (From WUSA via YouTube)

Terry McAuliffe wins Democratic nomination for Virginia governor

Attorney General Mark Herring survives primary challenge; Hala Ayala’s victory sets up all-female contest for lieutenant governor

♦By Rich Shumate, ChickenFriedPolitics.com editor

VirginiaRICHMOND (CFP) — Terry McAuliffe has won a chance to reclaim Virginia’s governorship, easily winning Tuesday’s Democratic primary to set up what is likely to be a bruising general election campaign against Republican newcomer Glenn Youngkin.

Attorney General Mark Herring also saw off a challenge from the left in his quest to win a third term, and State Delegate Hala Ayala made history by winning the Democratic nod for lieutenant governor.

Ayala, who identifies as an Afro-Latina, is the first Hispanic woman to win nomination to statewide office, and her win also insures that Virginia will have its first female lieutenant governor, as Republicans chose Winsome Sears, an African-American woman, in a nominating convention in May.

McAuliffe coasted to an easy win in the governor’s race, taking 62% and carrying every county and independent city in the commonwealth. Former Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy came in second at 20%.

Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, whose once promising political career crashed amid allegations from two women that he sexually assaulted them, mustered less than 4% in his bid for the state’s top job.

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Former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe

McAuliffe, 64, a Clinton confidante and prolific Democratic fundraiser, served as governor from 2014 to 2018 but was forced from office by a rule unique to Virginia that doesn’t allow governors to run for a second term.

If his comeback is successful, it will mark only the second time that a former governor has reclaimed the office (the other was Democrat Mills Godwin elected in 1965 and 1973).

Youngkin, 57, a wealthy private equity executive from the Washington D.C. suburbs, is trying to become the first Republican since 2009 to break the Democrats’ lock on the state’s top office.

In the attorney general’s race, Herring faced a stiff primary challenge from Delegate Jay Jones from Norfolk, who centered his campaign on criminal justice reform, including repealing qualified immunity for police officers.

Jones’s upstart campaign was boosted by endorsements from term-limited Democratic Governor Ralph Northam and New Jersey U.S. Senator Cory Booker, along with support from Democracy for America, a grassroots advocacy group on the Democratic left. But in the end, Jones could only muster 43% of the primary vote, to 57% for Herring.

Herring will face Republican Delegate Jason Miyares from Virginia Beach in November.

In the lieutenant governor’s race, Ayala, from Prince William County, snagged endorsements from Northam and much of the Democratic establishment. She took 39% of the vote, defeating Delegates Sam Rasoul of Roanoke, with 26%, and Mark Levine from Alexandria, with 12% and Norfolk City Councilwoman Andria McClellan with 11%

Rasoul, who led the race in fundraising, was trying to become the first Muslim to win statewide office. Levine would have been the first openly gay and Jewish nominee.

Sears, 57, who served a single term in the legislature nearly 20 years ago and hasn’t held office since, was the biggest surprise to come out of the Republican convention, dispatching five rivals.

A Jamaican immigrant and former Marine from Winchester, she served as national chair of Black Americans to Re-Elect President Trump in 2020, and her campaign posters and Twitter feed showed her carrying an assault rifle.

Since the lieutenant governorship became an elected office in the 1850s, all of its occupants have been men and all but two have been white. The incumbent, Justin Fairfax, is one of the two, along with Douglas Wilder, who went on to become governor.

Because of the single-term limit for governors, the lieutenant governorship is often a stepping stone to that office, as it was for Northam, who served under McAuliffle.

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Virginia Democrats decide statewide nominees in Tuesday primary

Former Governor Terry McAuliffe tries to make a comeback; Attorney General Mark Herring trying to hang on

♦By Rich Shumate, ChickenFriedPolitics.com editor

VirginiaRICHMOND (CFP) — Virginia Democrats go to the polls Tuesday to pick their nominees for three statewide posts, with former Governor Terry McAuliffe expected to win a chance to reclaim that post and Attorney General Mark Herring trying to fend off a spirited primary challenge from the left.

State Democrats will also pick a nominee for lieutenant governor in a muddled six-person race with no clear front-runner, with the possibility that the all-male, straight, mostly white string of No. 2s stretching back 170 years could end with the state’s first-ever female, Jewish, gay or Latina lieutenant governor.

In-person voting opens Tuesday at 6 a.m., with polls closing at 7 p.m. Republicans opted to pick their nominees at a state convention in May, so there will be no GOP contests.

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Former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe trying to regain office in Tuesday’s primary

In the governor’s race, polls have shown McAuliffe with a clear lead over four challengers: Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, State Delegate Lee Carter, State Senator Jennifer McClellan, and former Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy.

McAuliffe, 64, a Clinton confidante and prolific Democratic fundraiser, served as governor from 2014 to 2018 but was forced from office by a rule unique to Virginia that doesn’t allow governors to run for a second term.

If his comeback is successful, it will mark only the second time that a former governor has reclaimed the office (the other was Democrat Mills Godwin elected in 1965 and 1973).

Republicans picked political newcomer Glenn Youngkin as their nominee, who is trying to become the first Republican since 2009 to break the Democrats’ lock on the state’s top office.

Youngkin, 54, who lives in the Washington D.C. suburbs, is running as a Christian conservative and has been endorsed by Donald Trump. He made a fortune running a private equity company, giving him deep pockets to compete with McAuliffe’s fundraising prowess.

In the attorney general’s race, Herring, who is seeking a third term, is facing a stiff primary challenge from Delegate Jay Jones from Norfolk, who has centered his campaign on criminal justice reform, including repealing qualified immunity for police officers.

Jones’s upstart campaign has been boosted by endorsements from term-limited Democratic Governor Ralph Northam and New Jersey U.S. Senator Cory Booker, along with support from Democracy for America, a grassroots advocacy group on the Democratic left.

The winner of the primary will face Republican Delegate Jason Miyares from Virginia Beach.

The six candidates in the race for lieutenant governor include State Delegates Hala Ayala, Mark Levine, and Sam Rasoul; Norfolk City Councilwoman Andria McClellan, attorney Sean Perryman and businessman Xavier Warren.

Rasoul, who led the field in fundraising, represents Roanoke in the legislature and would become the first Muslim elected to statewide office in Virginia.

Ayala, from Prince William County, snagged endorsements from Northam and much of the Democratic establishment. She identifies as an Afro-Latina and would be the first Latina statewide nominee.

Levine, from Alexandria, would be the first openly gay and first Jewish nominee if he prevails Tuesday.

Virginia does not have primary runoff elections, so the candidate who wins a plurality Tuesday will win the right to face Republican Winsome Sears in November.

Sears, 57, who served a single term in the legislature nearly 20 years ago and hasn’t held office since, was the biggest surprise to come out of the Republican convention, dispatching five rivals.

A Jamaican immigrant and former Marine from Winchester, she served as national chair of Black Americans to Re-Elect President Trump in 2020, and her campaign posters and Twitter feed showed her carrying an assault rifle.

Since the lieutenant governorship became an elected office in the 1850s, all of its occupants have been men and all but two have been white. The incumbent, Justin Fairfax, is one of the two, along with Douglas Wilder, who went on to become governor.

Because of the single-term limit for governors, the lieutenant governorship is often a stepping stone to that office, as it was for Northam, who served under McAuliffle.

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George P. Bush launches primary challenge for Texas attorney general

Bush family scion will take on incumbent Ken Paxton, who is facing criminal charges and FBI investigation

♦By Rich Shumate, ChickenFriedPolitics.com editor

TexasAUSTIN (CFP) — Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush will seek the Republican nomination for Texas attorney general in 2022, in a bid to oust incumbent Ken Paxton, who is facing a criminal trial and an FBI investigation.

George P Bush announces run for Texas attorney general (From Fox via YouTube)

 Bush — the grandson and nephew of U.S. presidents with the most famous family name in Texas politics — warned conservatives that Paxton was a “weak link” who would lose the office to Democrats if he were nominated again.

“We have a web of corruption and lies that affects one of the highest offices in our land, and it’s time for a change,” Bush told supporters at a bar in Austin Wednesday evening. “Enough is enough, Ken. You’ve brought too much scandal and too little integrity to this office.”

Bush even went so far to compare Paxton’s legal troubles to the misdeeds of former President Bill Clinton, adding that “as conservatives, we can’t look the other way when one of our own does the same thing over and over again.”

Bush, 45, is the son of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and his wife, Columba, an immigrant from Mexico. He became the fourth generation of his family to serve in elected office when he won a 2014 race for land commissioner, which manages state lands and mineral rights. He was re-elected in 2018.

Paxton’s campaign responded to Bush’s announcement with a statement that did not address the allegations against him but touted his record as a “rock-solid conservative” and the “tip of the spear in protecting President [Donald] Trump’s America First principles.”

Paxton, 57, serving his second term as attorney general, is facing a slew of legal and ethical problems. He faces a trial on securities fraud charges stemming from before his time as attorney general, and the FBI launched a criminal investigation in 2020 after several of his top aides publicly accused him of misusing his office to help a wealthy campaign contributor.

Paxton has denied any wrongdoing. His attorneys have managed to delay his state trial on securities fraud charges for more than six years, in a fight over where the case should be heard. He was re-elected in 2018 after his indictment.

Paxton has also been an outspoken and vocal supporter of former Trump, even organizing a lawsuit that unsuccessful challenged the results of his 2020 election loss.

However, unlike his father and other members of the Bush family, George P. Bush has also been a Trump supporter and publicly touted a conversation he had with Trump before announcing his challenge to Paxton.

Trump has indicated that he will probably offer an endorsement in the race, saying “I like them both very much.”

Paxton’s wife, Angela, is a Texas state senator. Bush is the grandson of former President George H.W. Bush and the nephew of George W. Bush.

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Video: President Joe Biden joins remembrance of Tulsa Race Massacre

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