Terry R. McAuliffe

Key Facts

Party Democrat
Race Governor
Status Challenger


Terry R. McAuliffe earned his bachelor’s degree from Catholic University and law degree from Georgetown Law School. McAuliffe is a former businessman, chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2001 to 2005, and governor of Virginia from 2014 to 2018. As governor, he added 200,000 jobs, raised personal income by 13 percent, and invested $1 billion into education. In 2016, he was also investigated for campaign contributions to the Clinton Foundation.

Key Issues


McAuliffe wants to deliver equitable access to education by ensuring every student has an internet connection and creating an Education Equity and Innovation Commission to address segregation in schools. As governor, he signed the first law mandating computer science education in Virginia and eliminated five standardized tests. McAuliffe also supports increasing teacher pay and promoting STEM education in schools.

Women's Rights

McAuliffe supports reproductive rights and will work to increase access to contraceptive care. He wants to combat mortality rates for Black mothers by increasing access to home visiting programs, quality care, lactation support, and mental health screenings for pregnant and postpartum women. In his last term as governor, McAuliffe vetoed all anti-reproductive rights bills and signed legislation allowing Virginians to obtain a year of contraceptives. Moreover, McAuliffe seeks to pass an amendment to the Constitution of Virginia that grants the right to an abortion. He’s an advocate for requiring paid sick day and affordable child care. He has previously vetoed bills that would have defunded Planned Parenthood and the closing of women’s health clinics. He also created the Physical Evidence Recovery Kit (PERK) Work Group, which helped victims of sexual assault.


McAuliffe believes in a safe and gradual return for workers looking to get back to their jobs through making targeted investments in workforce training and increasing the minimum wage. As governor, he created 200,000 jobs and expanded training for IT and healthcare, lowering the unemployment rate 2.4%.

Gun Policy

McAuliffe looks to ban assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, and “ghost guns.” He will bolster background check laws to include all firearm transfers and prevent people who have committed hate crimes from owning firearms. The open possession of firearms in certain public spaces are to be prohibited, and an Office of Gun Violence Prevention for identifying and solving gun violence across state agencies will be created.

Environmental Reform

McAuliffe plans on reaching 100% clean energy by 2035 and ensuring a transition that protects vulnerable communities. He will restructure Virginia’s regulatory system to protect consumers and incentivize 100% clean energy. McAuliffe wants to reduce energy consumption by investing in energy efficiency, expand clean energy jobs, and improve equal access to clean public transportation, electric vehicles, and EV charging infrastructure.


Joe Biden, U.S. President; Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Speaker of the House; Ralph Northam, Governor of Virginia; Hillary Clinton, Former Secretary of State; The Washington Post; American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees; Laborer’s Union of North America; National Women’s Political Caucus-Virginia


Terry for Virginia


The Washington Post