Democratic elected officials from Prince William County and Manassas announced their endorsement of Terry McAuliffe for governor on Thursday.
The list includes Prince William County School Board Chairman Babur Lateef and former Prince William County supervisor Frank Principi; Occoquan Mayor Earnie Porta Jr.; and several Manassas City Councilmembers, including Mayor Michelle Davis-Younger, Vice Mayor Pamela Sebesky, Treasurer Patricia Richie-Folks, and Councilmen Mark Wolfe, David Farajollahi and Ralph Smith.
Del. Luke Torian, D-52nd, and Sen. John Bell, D-13th, have already announced their support for McAuliffe.
McAuliffe is one of five Democrats running for governor this year. Two candidates for governor, former state delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy and Del. Lee Carter, D-50th, are from Prince William County. Sen. Jennifer McLellan, D-9th, and Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax are also in the race.
McAuliffe is leading the Democratic field in fundraising, having amassed more than $5.7 million in his campaign coffers as of earlier this month. Carroll Foy is in far second place in fundraising, reporting nearly $1.9 million.
Davis-Younger said in a press statement released this morning that McAuliffe will bring “bold, experienced leadership” to Virginia as the state continues to address the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lateef said in the same statement that McAuliffe would “continue the work of the [Gov. Ralph] Northam administration with a $2 billion annual investment in K-12.”
“As our children have faced unprecedented challenges during the pandemic that have exacerbated disparities in education, our next governor needs to act boldly to build on this administration’s effort make sure every Virginia child has access to an equitable, world-class education,” Lateef said. “... Now is the time to invest in our students.”
In a Thursday press statement, McAuliffe touted his past accomplishments as governor, including the restoration of rights for 173,000 Virginians, and said that he would “put equity” at the center of his campaign. McAuliffe previously served as Virginia governor from 2014 to 2018.
“Now is not the time to tinker around the edges. We have to use this as an opportunity to put an end to the unjust practices that have targeted Black and Brown Virginians for centuries, eliminate disparities in our kids’ education, and break down the barriers holding communities of color back,” McAuliffe said. “As Virginia's next governor, I will put equity at the forefront of everything I do.”