Gov. Terry McAuliffe is the 72nd governor of Virginia, sworn into office Jan. 11, 2014. In his election, he narrowly beat Tea Party candidate Ken Cuccinelli, whose conservative positions were too rigid for some voters.
McAuliffe was born Feb. 9, 1957 in Syracuse, New York. He had an early start in politics, and accompanied his father on door-to-door campaign fundraising trips at the age of eight. His father was the Onondaga County treasurer for the Democratic Party, giving McAuliffe an early insight into politics and fundraising/finances. He was also a young entrepreneur, opening his first business at 14, entitled McAuliffe Driveway Maintenance.
After graduating from Catholic University with a bachelor’s degree and obtaining a law degree from Georgetown Law School, he opened up his own law firm and started a bank. He is also the founder of GreenTech Automotive, a company he invented for the purpose of creating jobs. He resigned in 2013 during his second campaign for governor of Virginia.
His political career began in 1980 when he was appointed as a national finance director during Jimmy Carter’s administration. He gained a reputation as a phenomenal and determined fundraiser; he even wrestled an alligator for a sizable contribution. Once Jimmy Carter’s administration ended he continued his political career, acting as a chairman for both Bill and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaigns. In 2000, he was named the chairman of the Democratic National Committee, where he served until 2005.
McAuliffe lost his first campaign for public office in 2009 but was successful in 2013. As governor of Virginia, his priority is economic development through job creation. Simultaneously, he is passionate about restoring government trust. During his time as governor he has signed many initiatives regarding the economy in Virginia, Virginian research investments, and expanded the Virginia Values Veterans initiative.
He is married to Dorothy McAuliffe, and they have five children.