By Jim Ellis
April 22, 2019 — After once indicating that he was preparing to announce a presidential effort, former Virginia governor and ex-Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe said that he would not become a national candidate. Rather, he said late last week, he plans to work in Virginia to help Democrats make further political gains in the Old Dominion.
Though McAuliffe continued to keep his name alive as a potential presidential candidate, the preparatory actions surrounding such a move never seemed to be in evidence.
Interestingly, when asked whether he would consider running for governor again in 2021, he didn’t rule out the possibility. Virginia is the only state in the nation that bars a governor from running for two consecutive terms, but it doesn’t prohibit an ex-chief executive from returning after a break in service.
Currently, the number of officially announced presidential contenders is 19, with former Vice President Joe Biden still not confirming his informal candidacy.
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock and US Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) are also making visits to early primary states and appear to be readying a respective campaign apparatus.
Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) indicated last week that he wants to enter the national campaign, but a prostate cancer diagnosis has derailed any short-term plans he had to join the large field; however, his long-term health prognosis appears strong.