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With nominations set, Virginia Republicans, Democrats look towards elections

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Posted at 11:24 PM, Jun 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-08 23:39:00-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Shortly after Primary Day polls closed on Tuesday evening, it was announced that Terry McAuliffe would become the Democratic candidate for governor.

A large part of the discussion from opponents was that McAuliffe represented an old form of leadership. However, over 60% of voters disagreed with that sentiment.

McAuliffe, the 72nd governor of Virginia, was overwhelmingly picked by Democrats to represent the party in the race to become Virginia's 74th governor.

"We are in a different state than we were in four years ago and we are not going back," McAuliffe said in a speech on Tuesday night.

He said that his last term shows his plans for this time around would help Virginians bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.

"That's why I'm running for governor, to create great paying jobs, to reduce healthcare costs and to build the best, most equitable education system in the country," McAuliffe said.

State Senator Jennifer McClellan, on the other hand, came up short in the polls. If she had won the nomination and the governor's race, she would have been the first Black woman to serve as governor.

"We're going to work together to make sure this November and this January and moving forward, we will rebuild Virginia stronger, more united and more equitable. We've got to do it together," McClellan said in a speech on Tuesday night.

Joining McAuliffe on the Democratic ticket is Hala Ayala as the Lt. Governor nominee and Attorney General Mark Herring.

With McAuliffe as the nominee, Virginia Republicans are setting their tone, attacking him as a career politician with a record of broken promises.

GOP nominee Glenn Youngkin Tweeted about the nomination on Tuesday, saying that Virginia is less safe and provides fewer economic opportunities.

"Glenn Youngkin is running for governor because of Donald Trump," McAuliffe said.

McCauliffe is already attempting to tie Youngkin to former President Donald Trump, posing him as a threat to the agenda his party has advanced in Virginia.

"Ralph and I and the legislature, we knocked those walls down and we will not let Glenn Youngkin put walls back up," McAuliffe said.

Both parties are defining their messages leading up to November's elections, with Democrats saying Virginia should protect progress and Republicans arguing that progress has cost Virginia.