McAuliffe Seeks Revenge Against Virginia Democrat

Terry McAuliffe
Terry McAuliffe / Getty Images
January 7, 2019

Terry McAuliffe has his eyes on a run for president, but he is still working to settle scores in Virginia, according to the Washington Post.

McAuliffe openly stated over the weekend that he was willing to do "anything [he] could possibly do" to assist a primary challenge against a Democratic commonwealth attorney who opposed his move to restore voting rights to over 200,000 felons through executive order.

"We have a candidate here who’s actually running against one of those commonwealth attorneys who tried to stop me," McAuliffe said during a fundraiser for Democratic lawmakers, according to the Post. "Good luck in your race; I’ll do anything I can possibly do to try and help you."

McAuliffe's target is Theo Stamos, who has been Commonwealth's Attorney for Arlington since 2011 and is up for reelection this year. He has thrown his endorsement behind attorney Parisa Tafti, who has launched a primary challenge against Stamos.

Stamos has made clear that she was not opposed to McAuliffe's mission of rights restoration for felons, but rather the haphazard and rushed manner in which he tried to get it done.

Predecessors of McAuliffe had restored rights to convicted felons on a case-by-case basis, but McAuliffe moved in April 2016 to restore rights to over 200,000 with a single executive order. The result was mistakes—a group of 132 "sexually violent predators" who were declared too dangerous to rejoin society, for example, accidentally had their rights restored.

For Stamos, the sloppiness of the order was especially concerning because "voting rights are a precursor to gun rights."

Virginia's Supreme Court ultimately sided against McAuliffe, ruling that he didn't have the authority to restore voting rights en masse.

McAuliffe worked around the ruling and signed individual orders to restore voting rights to about 173,000, calling it one of the "proudest moments" of his administration. During a Monday interview on CNN McAuliffe bragged that he "restored more felon rights than any other governor in history."

McAuliffe told the Free Beacon last year that he views himself as the best Democratic candidate to defeat President Donald Trump in 2020.