Candidate: ’Burg’s A ‘Model’
McAuliffe Pleased With His Tour Of Business ‘Incubator’
Posted: February 15, 2013
Terry McAuliffe, Democratic candidate for governor, chats with bicycle mechanics Collin Venton (left) and Kyle Lawrence at Shenandoah Bicycle Co. on Thursday during his tour of downtown businesses in Harrisonburg. “That [business] brings other people in. That brings young people in,” the candidate said of the cycle shop. (Photos by Michael Reilly / DN-R)
Terry McAuliffe, (center) Democratic candidate for governor, gets a tour of the Explore More Discovery Museum in Harrisonburg on Thursday from Councilman Richard Baugh (left) and Eddie Bumbaugh, executive director of Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance.
Councilman Richard Baugh and Eddie Bumbaugh, executive director of Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance, ushered McAuliffe around to several businesses as part of the candidate’s four-day swing through the commonwealth.
McAuliffe, a Northern Virginia businessman, is the likely Democratic nominee for governor in November’s general election. The former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, he lost the state party’s nomination for governor to Sen. Creigh Deeds, D-Hot Springs, four years ago.
Gov. Bob McDonnell went on to defeat Deeds in that year’s general election.
McAuliffe described downtown Harrisonburg as looking like a “small-business incubator” that could be a “model” for other localities. He was impressed by the mixed use of historic tax credits and private and public dollars to revitalize the area.
The purpose of his trip was to learn how business owners and the community have found ways to grow in a down economy.
“Credit is so tight. There’s not a lot of lending,” McAuliffe said. “We need to make sure we have all the different avenues work.”
At the Explore More Discovery Museum on South Main Street, Bumbaugh explained how a mix of sponsorships, city funds and membership and visitor fees helped pay for that attraction.
“We get a lot of positive public feedback,” Baugh said.
The Shenandoah Bicycle Co. across the street also caught McAuliffe’s eye.
“Success begets success,” he said. “That [business] brings other people in. That brings young people in.”
McAuliffe has started 30 companies — the first at age 14 — and focuses on those that create sustainable, environmentally friendly jobs. His campaign is one of “economic development and job creation,” he said.
Other factors play into that, he added, including a strong transportation infrastructure and growing educational initiatives, such as workforce development through community colleges.
Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli seeks the Republican nomination for governor. Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, who withdrew his name from contention as the GOP nominee, plans to announce on March 14 if he will run an independent campaign.
The Virginia Constitution prevents McDonnell from running for a second term. The House of Delegates killed a bill that would allow governors to run for another consecutive term.
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