[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/05/12/art.mcaullife.jpg caption="Terry McAuliffe is laying groundwork for a gubernatorial run."]
(CNN) - Terry McAuliffe, one of Hillary Clinton’s most outspoken backers during her presidential bid, is laying the groundwork for a run at the Virginia governor’s mansion in 2009, according to Democratic sources in the commonwealth.
This week, McAuliffe hired longtime Virginia political consultant Mo Elleithee to start planning a possible statewide campaign, should he decide to run. Elleithee spent the last year working alongside McAuliffe in the Clinton campaign as a senior spokesman, but in recent years he has also helped steer Tim Kaine and Mark Warner to signature Democratic victories in Virginia.
The former Democratic National Committee chairman is expected to make his decision after election day on November 4. Meanwhile, McAuliffe and Elleithee were at state party headquarters in Richmond on Wednesday, greeting various Democratic officials. On October 6, McAuliffe will headline a speaking forum “with special guests” in Arlington, hosted by HillPAC, Clinton’s fundraising arm.
If McAuliffe enters the race, he will face off in a three-way Democratic primary next year against state Sen. Creigh Deeds and state House member Brian Moran. Virginia’s Attorney General Bob McDonnell is expected to run for the Republican nomination unopposed.