Former and current Fairfax County Board of Supervisors chairs Sharon Bulova and Jeff McKay on Wednesday endorsed Terry McAuliffe's candidacy for governor.
McAuliffe, who lives in Fairfax, is seeking the Democratic nomination to return to the office he held from 2014-18. He is running against at least three other Democrats: current Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, state Sen. Jennifer McClellan of Richmond and Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy of Prince William County. Del. Lee Carter of Manassas also has filed paperwork for a campaign but hasn't decided whether he will run.
McKay said in a statement that he believes McAuliffe will help the state recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Local governments have experienced the brunt of this pandemic, and we need our next governor to have big and bold ideas," McKay said in a release from the McAuliffe campaign. "Terry will use this pandemic as an opportunity to recover and push Virginia and our county forward. He will work with local governments and the Democratic majorities in Richmond to boldly invest in our education system, go big in our COVID recovery, and fight for equity for all.”
Bulova, who stepped down as chair of the Fairfax board a year ago, cited McAuliffe's education plan in her endorsement.
“Virginia’s next governor will face tremendous challenges as our commonwealth recovers from this pandemic and its economic effects," she said. "We need someone who sees the full scope of the task at hand, someone who thinks big and acts boldly, someone who will use this as an opportunity to push Virginia forward."
Other Northern Virginia political leaders who have endorsed McAuliffe include Speaker of the House of Delegates Eileen Filler-Corn of Fairfax, House Majority Leader Charniele Herring of Alexandria, state Sen. Janet Howell of Arlington and Fairfax, and House of Delegates Appropriations Chair Luke Torian of Prince William.
The Democratic nomination is expected to be decided in a primary in late spring or early summer. Two Republican candidates have announced plans to seek their party's nomination, to be decided in a convention: former House of Delegates Speaker Kirk Cox of Colonial Heights and state Sen. Amanda Chase of Chesterfield County.
Virginia's constitution prohibits governors from succeeding themselves, but they can run for the office after sitting out a term. If he wins, McAuliffe would be the second governor to do so, joining Mills E. Godwin Jr., who served from 1966-70 and again from 1974-78.