RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has filed paperwork to run for his old job next year but says he still hasn’t made a decision yet.
McAuliffe filed paperwork with the Virginia State Board of Elections on Wednesday listing himself as a Democratic candidate for governor. But his spokesman, Brennan Bilberry, said McAuliffe won’t made an official decision to run until after the November election.
“Governor McAuliffe is making no decisions on 2021 until after we defeat Donald Trump and his hateful ideology,” Bilberry said.
The filing is the clearest indication yet that McAuliffe is planning to run.
Bilberry said the new filing was done for accounting and legal reasons. McAuliffe has been toying with a possible run for months while raising money through his old political action committee.
McAuliffe, once best known as a top Democratic money man and close friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton’s, reinvented his image during a largely successful four-year term as governor that saw him tirelessly market the state, make major transportation deals, and restore voting rights for thousands of convicted felons.
He briefly flirted with a presidential run last year but decided against it.
Many longtime lawmakers have urged McAuliffe to run again for governor, but it’s unclear how broad his support is among Democratic primary voters. McAuliffe proudly governed as a centrist and some of his business-friendly policies and actions as governor may alienate the party’s progressive wing.
Other announced Democratic candidates for governor include state Sen. Jennifer McClellan and Del. Jennifer Carroll-Foy, either of whom would be the nation’s first African American woman to lead a state.
Virginia bars governors from seeking consecutive terms. McAuliffe’s successor, Gov. Ralph Northam, is set to leave office at the start of 2022.