RICHMOND (WRIC)—8News contacted each gubernatorial candidate for sit-down interviews; each candidate was asked the same questions focusing on major issues. The second candidate in this exclusive series of interviews is Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe.
Terry McAuliffe is the former chair of the Democratic National Committee, a friend and former fundraiser to the Clintons, and a long-time businessman and entrepreneur. He says his main goals as governor would be economic development, education and transportation.
McAuliffe adds that a top priority will be creating new jobs, because Virginia will lose billions to sequestration, or federal cuts to the military, next year.
“That'll have a dramatic impact on the Virginia economy,” McAuliffe said. “So how do you grow, how do you diversify? How do you replace those military assets with cyber security, nanotechnology, bio life sciences, those new jobs of the 21st century?”
McAuliffe says he wants to invest more money in community colleges to help bring those jobs to the Commonwealth.
“Those are our real workforce development engines. When you're trying to bring in a business, the first place they look at are community colleges,” McAuliffe said. “So, I want to make sure that we are using our community colleges to build the workforce for the future.”
With regard to K-12 education, McAuliffe wants to raise teacher pay to attract the best teachers, and says SOLs need to be reformed.
“They don't work in their present form,” he said of the state's standardized tests. “Our teachers are teaching to tests, and our children are being taught how to memorize. That is not teaching our children to think creatively or cognitively.”
McAuliffe says he plans on paying for this as Medicaid expands in the state.
“Four hundred thousand Virginians will have access to quality care. This is bringing Virginians' federal tax dollars back to Virginia,” he said. “We'll create up to 30,000 new jobs. We'll free up $500 million in the general fund, which I can then use in priorities of education.”
When asked how he would promote bipartisanship, McAuliffe points to his Republican endorsements.
“People have all come together to support my candidacy and I think if you look at how we've run the campaign is how we want to be involved in running the government,” he said.
McAuliffe says he believes that's what makes him a better candidate than his opponents.
“I want to work in a bipartisan mainstream way,” he said. “Pragmatism over ideology.”
Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond