Nov 1, 2017

Hodges Speaks at University of Chicago Institute of Politics Forum with Gov. Terry McAuliffe

Jim Hodges, a former South Carolina governor who heads McGuireWoods Consulting’s national multistate team and is a partner with the McGuireWoods law firm, appeared alongside Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe at a University of Chicago Institute of Politics forum.

The two Democrats discussed headwinds for progressive candidates running in the South at the Oct. 30 event.

Hodges, who was governor from 1999-2003, was elected on an education platform. During his tenure, he established South Carolina’s education lottery, which has funded more than 100,000 scholarships. Ideas, not partisan ideology, carried the election, he said.

“Part of the problem we’ve had since the early 1990s is we’ve fallen into this trap of letting it [elections] be about ideology, at least in the Deep South,” Hodges said.

Had the race been a choice only between a Democrat and a Republican, he said, he would have lost. He succeeded because he made the campaign about funding for educating South Carolina’s children, he said.

“It gets back to having to make the election about an idea — or a couple of ideas — rather than about a party,” said Hodges, who becomes president and chief executive officer of McGuireWoods Consulting on Jan. 12.

McAuliffe, who was elected in 2013 in Virginia, agreed with Hodges.

“You’ve got to lean in on the values that you care about,” said McAuliffe, who is limited to a single, nonrenewable term that expires in January. “Don’t worry about whether you’re going to win or lose. Go down swinging for what you believe in, and I think voters respect that.”

To watch the entire forum, click here.