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Terry McAuliffe narrowly defeats Republican challenger Ken Cuccinelli for Virginia governor's seat

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
November 6th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Some analysts say that Terry McAuliffe, the new governor of Virginia had a sparsely detailed agenda. Winning by only a narrow victory over his Republican opponent Ken Cuccinelli, part of McAuliffe's platform includes the expansion of Medicaid, educational investment and the improvement of state transportation. Most agree he has a long road ahead of him governing a state with more than eight million residents, with a GOP-dominated House.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - McAuliffe has no experience in state government. Among his promises are such left-friendly platforms is promoting green technology, protecting access to abortion and ensure the state is welcoming to gays and scientific inquiry.

"I want us to be Number 1 in everything," he declared on the eve of the election.

The former Democratic National Committee chairman, entrepreneur and Clinton intimate will now have to make good on these stated goals. His narrow win will make it hard to claim a mandate.

"We really don't know where Terry McAuliffe's going," House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) says. "He hasn't really laid out any realistic plans. He's promised something for everyone. His whole orientation is toward Washington-style politics, schmoozing and doing deals, going and having a few drinks. That's not gonna work. I think he's got a pretty sharp learning curve."

Senator Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) says McAuliffe has potential. "There's nobody who has more energy, who has more heart, who goes after something and knows how to get it done," Warner says.

McAuliffe's autobiography, entitled "What a Party!" promoted Bill Clinton inaugural merchandise on the QVC shopping channel.

McAuliffe could not name the positions in the governor's Cabinet in March. He has more recently said that he has taken steps to assemble his own. He has lost points by trying to retain Republican Gov. Robert F. McDonnell's health and human resources secretary.

He has also hinted that he would like Bill Hazel to stay on in his Cabinet and made an indirect appeal behind the scenes, according to two people familiar with the effort, who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss a confidential matter.

Supporters say that McAuliffe's courtship of Hazel demonstrated an ability to play the bipartisan pragmatist capable of compromise. Others worried that it showed a willingness to abandon principles and people along the way.

"We are unabashedly opposed to Secretary Hazel staying on in the cabinet," Tarina Keene, executive director NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia says. "I think having someone like Dr. Hazel stay on is certainly not going to be an option for the administration considering the people who put him in that office."

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