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Governor Terry McAuliffe Reacts to Violence at Unite the Right Rally

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Governor McAuliffe at church in Charlottesville Governor McAuliffe at church in Charlottesville
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe attended two Charlottesville church services the day after the violent Unite the Right rally. One was held at Mt. Zion Baptist Church and one at First Baptist Church.

McAuliffe’s message was intense and powerful as he denounced racism and looked to the future. He was proud this morning to announce that he turned down appearances on all the morning talk shows to be with the people of Charlottesville and show his support.

“I wanted to be in the churches today, this is the future, we have got to work together on reconciliation to come together,” said McAuliffe. 

He says that Saturday was a dark day, but that does not think the future has to be too.

“This is a real opportunity for Virginia, as we move forward today people are looking at us, it’s an opportunity for us to come together, to heal, to have reconciliation,, but to lead on reconciliation efforts. This is a time for us here in Virginia, zero tolerance for any of these issues of white supremacy or neo-Nazism, we don’t want it here, were not going to tolerate it here in our beautiful state,” said McAuliffe. 

The governor pulled no punches in his message to Jason Kessler, the man who organized Saturday’s rally.

“We are all emboldened to take more action, and were not going to let a small group of people come in here and think they can intimidate us, no sir, you failed, you have made us stronger today,” said McAuliffe. 

McAuliffe says what's happened in Charlottesville is tied to things beyond the city. He calls it a nationwide issue that needs to be treated as such. 

“I’m calling on the president, I’m calling on every elected official to stand strong, this is an opportunity as I told the president yesterday, twice I said that hate rhetoric has got to stop, let us work together to build a better country,” said McAuliffe. 

Governor McAuliffe was flanked by lieutenant governor Ralph Northam, mayor Mike Signer, and vice mayor Wes Bellamy at both of these church services today.

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