Update: Tom Perriello Not Running for Governor

December 5, 2012

Tom Perriello released a statement Wednesday afternoon ending speculation about his political future. He says he will not run for governor in 2013.

Instead, he is endorsing democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe.

Periello's full statement is below:

"When the people of Virginia re-elected Barack Obama and sent Tim Kaine to the Senate last month, it revived my deepest hopes that our political process is not broken and our country and Commonwealth are moving forward. From Thomas Jefferson to Barbara Johns to today's DREAMers, Virginians have marched a difficult but decisive path towards expanding freedom, fairness and dignity for all. I love Virginia, the state that gave my father a chance to move into the middle class after graduating from the University of Virginia, and am confident that we will not turn back.

"In this spirit, I have considered a run for Governor, and am genuinely touched by the outpouring of support. I do not feel called to serve in elected office at this time, but I do not need to have my name on the ballot to be part of the fight. Through my work as President of Center for American Progress Action and in my personal capacity, I will continue to fight back against those who attack women's rights, threaten scientists, and pursue an ideological austerity agenda that undermines desperately needed investments in infrastructure, education, and technology that help grow the middle class.

"No one has worked harder to prevent this extreme agenda from reaching the Governor's mansion than Terry McAuliffe. I hope that progressives and moderates can unite as Virginians choose between the worst of our past and the best of our future. Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli says what he believes, but those divisive beliefs are devastating to our Commonwealth. I will be supporting Terry and all of those who are willing to put their names on the ballot to keep Virginia moving forward."

December 4, 2012

Hype surrounding former Fifth District Congressman Tom Perriello is growing, as the Democrat is reportedly in discussions with friends and advisers about a potential run to be the state's executive.

The Democrats with arguably the biggest political clout in Virginia have some top jobs. Sen. Mark Warner and Senator-elect Tim Kaine will soon work together from Capitol Hill.

"There's some questions as to beyond Kaine and Warner who the Democrats have to run credibly statewide, so there's some people who have come out of the woodwork, and we'll see how they do," said Kyle Kondik with the University of Virginia's Center for Politics.

Former Democratic National Committee chair Terry McAuliffe is the lone Democratic candidate for governor. Perriello, though, could change that.

"I think it's possible that Perriello, if he challenged McAuliffe, could actually defeat McAuliffe in the primary, but it's not clear to me that Perriello necessarily has any more statewide appeal as McAuliffe does," Kondik said.

Perriello is rumored to be considering a run for Virginia governor. If he does run, he'll face a primary battle against McAuliffe, who lost the 2009 Democratic primary to state Sen. Creigh Deeds.

Deeds ultimately lost the race to Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell.

"Perriello would probably be more of the favorite of the more liberal part of the party," Kondik said.

Both candidates carry big names with them. Perriello is a friend of President Barack Obama, who unsuccessfully campaigned for Perriello's re-election in 2010. McAuliffe served as an adviser to President Bill Clinton.

"Maybe a Perriello-McAuliffe race could be another sort of proxy battle between the Clintons and President Obama," Kondik said.

If the election were tomorrow, the primary winner would face Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli, who for now is running unopposed in the Republican primary.

"I think that both parties have a decent shot to win the governorship next year, and I think we'll have to wait and see how things develop," Kondik said.

Since 1977, Virginians have elected a governor of the opposite party than the one in the White House. If that's any predictor, that would put Cuccinelli in the governor's mansion. But 11 months from the election, analysts say it's too far out to tell.

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