Outgoing Governor Terry McAuliffe is backing away from a bill to move Richmond’s state-owned Robert E. Lee monument.
In the wake of violence in Chralottesville last August, McAuliffe said he would “likely” submit the bill during the 2018 legislative session. In an interview with WCVE Thursday (1/11), the now-outgoing exectuve said he would not submit the bill and instead pass decision-making about the contentious issue on to his rising Lieutenant Governor. “I’m going to leave it up to Ralph to make the decision,” said McAuliffe.
McAuliffe pointed to a forthcoming report from the Commonwealth Commission on Diversity, Equality and Inclusion. The group was created by an Executive Order and has a November 15th deadline to submit a report to the Governor. “We want to wait for that report and then, I think, rightfully so, Ralph should make the decision,” added McAuliffe.
McAuliffe’s retreat from the issue comes as he mulls a run for the U.S. Presidency. When asked Thursday about plans after leaving office, McAuiffe said he’ll help out with this year’s gubernatorial races and a redistricting project, but made no promises or no denials. “We'll see what happens,” he said. “I want to finish up strong in 2018. I’ll be travelling extensively around the country, keep everybody’s focus on ‘18 and we’ll just see what happens after that. I never take any option off the table on anything in life.”