RICHMOND, Va., Oct 23 (Reuters) – Former U.S. President Barack Obama urged Virginians to re-elect Terry McAuliffe as governor at a rally on Saturday, emphasizing the race’s significance as an indicator of the country’s political direction and a reflection of its values.
Obama and McAuliffe, who served as the state’s governor from 2014 to 2018, spoke before a cheering crowd at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond with just 10 days to go before the closely watched, tight Nov. 2 election.
The off-year race is seen as a barometer of how the country might decide the 2022 midterm elections, which will decide which party controls Congress, and a referendum on Democrat Joe Biden’s presidency.
Obama told the crowd the Virginia election represented a national “turning point,” where Americans could either become more embattled in the divisive politics that characterized Republican Donald Trump’s presidency and which culminated in an attack by Trump’s supporters on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, or “pull together” to “solve big problems.”
“I believe you, right here in Virginia, are going to show the rest of the country and the world that we’re not going to indulge in our worst instincts,” Obama said. “We’re not going to go back to the chaos that did so much damage. We’re going to move forward with people like Terry leading the way.”
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