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Gov. Terry McAuliffe

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has used his old state political action committee to raise big money and cut checks to Democrats in Iowa and New Hampshire as he weighs a presidential run. Campaign finance reports show McAuliffe’s PAC raised $300,000 in the second half of 2018 after raising no money in his first six months out of office. The PAC’s spending included money for staff, travel and donations to the Democratic parties in Iowa and New Hampshire – both early voting states in presidential primaries. Using the PAC to explore a presidential run would be illegal, but McAuliffe spokeswoman Crystal Carson said it has been used to help support candidates and parties who share the former governor’s values. Major donors include BET founder Robert Johnson and tobacco giant Altria.