Hillary Clinton often weighs into state issues from the closure of driver's license offices in Alabama and failure to expand Medicaid in Oklahoma to the enactment of a voter identification law in North Carolina to a decision to shift management of Medicaid to private corporations in Iowa.
Just week, Clinton praised the city of Richmond, Virginia for its pilot program to equip 40 police officers with body cameras.
But she has remained quiet on a controversial deal orchestrated by her surrogate and close friend, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, that gun control advocates oppose.
The compromise struck by the Democratic governor and Republican legislature would expand the rights of concealed carry handgun permit holders while putting more restrictions on domestic abusers and enacting voluntary background checks at gun shows.
The Virginia Senate Thursday approved the first part of the deal despite an outcry from the state’s Democratic attorney general and a gun safety group founded by former New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who is considering an independent run for president.
It’s unclear whether Clinton supports the compromise or whether it will impact McAuliffe’s role as a top surrogate for Clinton. Her campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
Clinton is expected to rely on McAuliffe to help her win the primary March 1 and possibly the state during a general election in November.
McAuliffe, who counts Bill and Hillary Clinton as close friends, served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee and chairman of Clinton’s first run for president House in 2008. The Clintons attended his inauguration and he campaigned for Clinton in the early nominating state of Iowa last month and held a rally for her in the swing state of Virginia last year. Several Clinton staffers worked on McAuliffe’s 2013 campaign, including campaign manager Robby Mook.
Clinton has made gun control one of her top issues in the campaign. In the wake of a community college shooting in Oregon, she called for steps on gun control and said she’d act unilaterally if Congress failed to tighten gun show and Internet sales loopholes.
She has blasted her opponent, Bernie Sanders, for his moderate gun record, pointing out repeatedly that he had voted against the Brady bill, which established federal background checks and a waiting period for potential gun owners, and that he initially voted to limit liability for gun makers and sellers.