In August, McAuliffe told FOX 5’s Tom Fitzgerald that he’d filed the paperwork to run, but hadn’t made a final decision.
Nevertheless, he was widely expected to launch a bid in 2020.
If he wins, McAuliffe – a close confidante of the Clintons – would become the first governor in nearly half a century to be elected to multiple terms.
Commonwealth law prohibits a sitting governor from running for reelection. But former governors are able to bid for their old jobs.
McAuliffe was elected governor in 2013, and was succeeded by Ralph Northam in 2017.
He launched his first bid in 2009, but lost. He ran with no party opposition in 2013.
McAuliffe will likely enter the field as the front-runner – but faces a great deal of competition that includes Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, State Senator Jennifer McClellan and former State Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy.
Virginia and New Jersey are the only two states in the nation to hold elections for governor in the year after a presidential election, giving both states outsized attention.