ABINGDON, Va. — Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate and former Gov. Terry McAuliffe charged up an Abingdon crowd with campaign rhetoric last week.
“It is great to be back in Abingdon again,” McAuliffe said after arriving at Wolf Hills Brewing Co. last Wednesday, where he was greeted by a crowd of about 100 people.
McAuliffe, 64, served as the 72nd governor of Virginia from 2014-2018. He was in Southwest Virginia to kick off his jobs tour, he said.
McAuliffe called the town of Abingdon “the greatest city in the United States of America.”
He also called himself “the most traveled governor in U.S. history” and told of how he lured big companies like Amazon, Facebook and Nestle to locate in Virginia during his term.
“The message I was trying to send to the world was that Virginia was an open and welcoming state,” McAuliffe said.
Unemployment also dropped across the commonwealth during his term as governor, he said.
McAuliffe created 200,000 jobs in Virginia during his term as governor, said former U.S. Rep. Rick Boucher, when he introduced McAuliffe at the rally.
“I can’t remember a time that has been more uncertain, where there has been more discord politically,” Boucher said.
McAuliffe brought “certainty” and a record of producing jobs when he was governor, he added.
McAuliffe’s stump speech in Abingdon took place on the outdoor stage at Wolf Hills, where the former governor boasted of how he helped promote and expand the craft brewing industry in Virginia — from 61 to 176 breweries — while serving as governor.
Craft beer helps promote tourism, creates jobs and helps farmers by sourcing agriculture products, McAuliffe said.
“I can’t wait to get your beer, to be honest with you,” McAuliffe said to brewery owner Cameron Bell. “That’s why I do these events.”
McAuliffe is running against Republican Glenn Youngkin for the Virginia governorship. Youngkin also visited Abingdon in July for a campaign stop.
Election Day is Nov. 2, and early voting is currently underway.
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