Virginia Democrat gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe fundraised for a state lawmaker who served time in jail after a scandal involving sex with a minor.
In 2019, the former governor (who is seeking reelection) appeared at a campaign event for Democrat and then-candidate for Virginia’s state Senate Joe Morrissey. While serving as a state delegate in 2014, Morrissey was sentenced to jail under a plea of “contributing to the delinquency of a minor” after he was accused of having sexual relations with his then-17-year-old part-time receptionist. He subsequently resigned, but ran a successful campaign for state Senate a few years later.
“I’m here for Joe. This is an important race for us,” McAuliffe said during Morrissey’s Senate campaign. “This is an important year for the Democrats. This will be, folks, the first time in 26 years that we will be able to control the House, the Senate, and the governor’s mansion.”
“What I love about Joe is that he will fight for you,” he added. Morrissey won election in November 2019, and continues to represent Virginia’s 16th District in the state Senate.
McAuliffe’s endorsement of Morrissey in 2019 directly contradicts the position he held when the scandal unfolded a few years earlier. At the time of Morrisey’s conviction, McAuliffe spokesman Brian Coy said in an email that “in light of his conviction on these disturbing charges, the governor believes Del. Morrissey should resign immediately.”
When asked to address McAuliffe’s flip-flop, Morrissey told the Washington Free Beacon the former governor’s initial call for him to resign was “politically expedient.”
“I won [the primary], and the next story was look at all these Democrats that are genuflecting at the altar of Joe Morrissey,” he said. “I’m not naïve, I have thick Irish skin, and I get it.”
“That’s what politicians do, and that’s why my wife hates politicians, because they just look at what’s politically expedient,” he added.
The McAuliffe campaign did not respond to The Federalist’s request for comment.