- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Addressing supporters at his election party Tuesday night, a victorious Terry McAuliffe thanked voters, his family and his campaign staff for their hard work.

“I get a lot of my energy from seeing all of you work so hard,” he said. “It fired me up, it kept me going during those 16 hour days.”

Stepping onstage amid chants of “Terry! Terry!” from the audience, the Democrat who eked out a victory over Republican Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II was joined by his family. He wore a purple tie, matched by his wife Dorothy’s purple dress, a possible symbol of bipartisanship in a state divided along red and blue lines.

Virginia should be a model for education, healthcare, transportation and innovation, he said.

“All of this is only possible if Virginia is a model for bipartisan cooperation,” Mr. McAuliffe said.

The now governor-elect — whose victory margin of about 2 percentage points amounted to approximately 45,000 votes out of roughly 2 million cast — also said the state should embrace expansions in Medicare, Medicaid and other programs that help ordinary Virginians afford healthcare.

Mr. McAuliffe has often described himself as a “mainstream” candidate who is willing to work with both parties and advance bipartisan cooperation. He took time to thank Republicans who crossed the aisle to support him.

“The truth is this election was never a choice between Democrats and Republicans,” he said. “It was a choice between whether Virginia would continue the bipartisan cooperation that has served us so well.”

As for supporters of his opponent, Mr. McAuliffe said he hopes they will keep him accountable.

“Although I can promise to be a governor for all Virginians, the real test is my actions when I take office,” he said. “I expect you to hold me to my promise to work with both sides.”

He described Mr. Cuccinelli as a “principled man” and thanked him for his dedication and service to the state.

Mr. McAuliffe said he would personally contact every GOP member of the state legislature to listen to their concerns.

“I plan to reach out to Republicans. I am going to listen to them and work with them,” he said.

He also called the economic challenges facing Virginia “daunting.”

“For those of you who know me well, I believe in a daunting challenge. It is always a great opportunity,” he said. “It is absolutely critical that we move forward in a way that is fiscally responsible.”

Speaking prior to her husband, Mrs. McAuliffe described the governor-elect as the most optimistic and open minded person she knows.

“He has enough energy to light up a small city,” she said. “I know that this positive energy is going to make Virginia a stronger commonwealth.”

If nothing else, Virginia voters should be happy the campaign is over, Mr. McAuliffe said.

“I think every single person in Virginia is glad the TV ads are now over,” he joked.

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