Terry McAuliffe is the incumbent Governor of Virginia. He assumed office on January 11, 2014 alongside Lieutenant Governor as the successor of former Republican Governor Bob McDonnel. McAuliffe is also the Chair of the National Governors Association. Succeeded by Howard Dean in 2005, he was Chair of the Democratic National Committee for four years.
Early Life and Education
Terry McAuliffe was born on February 9, 1957. Brought up in Syracuse in an Irish descent Catholic family, McAuliffe went to Bishop Ludden High School to complete preliminary education. Having graduated from Bishop Ludden, he joined the Catholic University of America for an undergraduate degree. For post-graduate education, McAuliffe went to Georgetown University and earned a JD in 1984.
Terry McAuliffe is married to Dorothy Swann since 1988. The couple has five children and currently lived in McLean, Virginia.
Terry McAuliffe has always been a business-minded person. When he just an early teenager, he had already built up his own business called McAuliffe Driveway Maintenance. As a professional businessperson, he contributed in establishing Federal City National Bank and got on its board. Within the next three years, he rose to become the chairman of such a prestigious Fed-affiliated bank. In 1991, along with a few other colleagues, he decided to merge their institution with Credit International Bank. As a result, McAuliffe became vice chairman of the newly formed banking institution.
In the late 1980s, McAuliffe invested $800,000 in his wife’s father’s company. Unfortunately, the company went into bankruptcy and had to be taken over by federal regulators. Losing such a huge amount, McAuliffe looked for a better and safer deal. He purchased real estate from the Resolution Trust Corporation and partnered with International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and National Electrical Contractors Association. In the same way, McAuliffe acquired American Heritage Homes and took it out of recession with a new plan of building 800 homes a year.
Besides, McAuliffe also invested in a few other companies such as Global Crossing and GreeTech Automotive. This business career has made him a fortune of $30 million.
Being a wealthy person, McAuliffe was an important person for the Democratic Party. As the party was struggling to raise money, the administration needed someone they could rely on for fundraising. Hence, the party elected Terry McAuliffe as its Chairman and the successor of Ed Rendell. During his four-year term at the chairmanship, McAuliffe managed to raise $578 million for the Democratic Party.
After leaving the party chairmanship, McAuliffe joined Hillary Clinton’s 2008 Presidential Campaign. Unfortunately, as Hillary suffered a heavy defeat against Obama, McAuliffe went back to his business: became an adviser at ZeniMax Media, became visiting fellow at Harvard University, etc. In 2009, he decided to run for Governor of Virginia and submitted his name for the Republican race to the nomination. Gaining 26.4% votes, Terry McAuliffe lost against Creigh Deeds with a 49.8% to 26.4% vote margin.
Terry McAuliffe decided to run again for the 2013 Virginia Gubernatorial Election. Fortunately, McAuliffe ran unopposed and gained the Democratic nomination. In the general election, McAuliffe faced Democrat Ken Cuccinelli and Robert Sarvis for the seat of Governor. This time, McAuliffe won with a very narrow margin of 47.8% to Ken Cuccinelli’s 45.2% votes. Subsequently, McAuliffe assumed office on January 11, 2014 as the successor of Bob McDonnell.
As Governor, McAuliffe quickly gained famed by executive orders to prohibit gift sharing worth over $100 with the state officials and any forms of sexual discrimination among the state employees. Likewise, he devised a health care plan called ‘A Healthy Virginia’. McAuliffe granted voting rights to all the ex-felons who were supposedly deprived of voting. Moreover, McAuliffe’s business contacts and ideas were very useful in attracting firms into Virginia. This effect is expected to bring about a rapid growth in Virginia’s economy.
Donald Trump and Terry McAuliffe
US President Trump and Virginia Governor McAuliffe are fundamentally different leaders. First thing, they mostly disagree on political and economic issues, being the representatives of two opposing parties.
On Trump’s immigration order, McAuliffe has vowed to fight against the President and in favor of the lawsuit Aziz vs. Trump. Likewise, there were rumors that McAuliffe might run for Presidency in 2020 elections. However, the speculations have been waived off by Governor McAuliffe himself.
Despite massive differences, Trump posted this on Twitter in 2014.
With Terry McAuliffe, Gov of Virginia, at the Trump Winery in Charlottesville, VA–largest on East Coast. @GovernorVA pic.twitter.com/onCh3WxPWL
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2014