Terry McAuliffe, Democratic candidate for governor, appeared at a campaign stop in an Annandale backyard Aug. 31 to urge the 200 or so supporters there to get out the vote in what he called “probably the starkest contest in the history of Virginia.”
McAuliffe vowed to focus on the economy and new technology. It’s crucial to replace lost jobs and income and diversify the economy in the face of federal budget sequestration that will have a “dynamic and dramatic impact on Virginia’s economy,” he said.
Transportation is crucial because easing traffic congestion would improve the quality of life, McAuliffe said. He promised to invest in mass transit, noting, “my opponent would kill the silver line.” He also criticized the Republican candidate, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, for proposing a $1.4 billion tax cut without saying how he will pay for it.
“There are huge differences in the race,” McAuliffe said, stating his opponent would outlaw most forms of contraception, shut down health centers, and launched a “mean-spirited” attack on gays and lesbians.
“I never view education as an expense. I view education as an investment,” McAuliffe said, calling for more funding for prekindergarten. He proposed a total reform of the SOLs, Virginia’s standardized tests, saying “they do not work.” He vowed to pay teachers “what they are worth” and provide more support for community colleges, which he called “engines for economic development.”
Among other politicians at the rally lending support to the McAuliffe campaign was former member of Congress Tom Pierrello, who said, “We believe climate change is real, and denying it won’t make it go away.” He also said, “We want to expand the American Dream, not contract it.” We need to elect people who protect women’s privacy and protect Americans’ voting rights, added Del. Charniele Herring, who represents Alexandria in the General Assembly.