Terry McAuliffe’s comeback bid aced its first test Tuesday, as the former Virginia governor cruised to victory in the state’s Democratic gubernatorial primary.

He easily defeated his two main rivals, former state Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy and state Sen. Jennifer McClellan, capturing about 60 percent of the vote in a five-candidate race in which he was the wire-to-wire favorite since entering last December.

His victory sets up a matchup with Glenn Youngkin, the former Carlyle Group chief executive who won the Republican nomination in a party convention about a month ago.

The November face-off will be the first major election during President Joe Biden’s tenure in the White House — and a measure of how damaging now-former President Donald Trump was to the state Republican Party here, which had been ransacked during Trump’s four years in office.

During his victory speech, McAuliffe leaned into his and outgoing Gov. Ralph Northam’s overlapping tenures in Richmond. “We are a different state than when we were eight years ago, and we are not going back,” he said.

 

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