Former representative Tom Perriello announced Wednesday that he would not run for the Democratic gubernatorial nod in Virginia next year, making it clear that he supports businessman Terry McAuliffe for the spot.
McAuliffe is expected to face Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) in a closely watched general election contest, as both men have now dodged potential intraparty opponents. Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling said last week that he would not challenge Cuccinelli for the Republican nomination, leaving an expected battle between an outspoken Republican who is loved by his party base and a Democrat who previously ran the national party and has been angling for the governor’s mansion since losing in the 2009 primary.
Perriello, who held the Charlottesville-based 5th congressional seat for one term before losing in 2010, is revered by many liberal activists in Virginia and across the country, and some on the left have urged him to consider a statewide bid. Perriello released a statement Wednesday saying that he had been inspired by last month’s election results.