|Governor elect Terry McAuliffe. Source: wiki commons|
Reporting on the Virginia election, the New York Times noted on November 6, “"Mr. McAuliffe ran a disciplined campaign, touring all 23 community colleges in the state to highlight work force development and keeping his message tightly on job creation."
According to the October 9th Washington Times, McAuliffe pledged to increase funding for community colleges. “Mr. McAuliffe has noted a roughly $1,900 gap between in per-student state funding for community colleges in 2008 and now. Restoring the funds would cost the state $900 million over four years.”
|Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cucinelli.|
Virginia’s highly regarded public higher education universities did not figure prominently in the campaign. In contrast McAuliffe used support for community colleges as a vehicle to attract voters and convince them that he was serious about expanding economic opportunity.
With their appeal to moderate and low-income voters and wide geographic distribution, a focus on community colleges could become a staple in future state electoral campaigns.