Published: Fri, June 16, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Virginia voters picked their parties' nominees for governor, lieutenant governor


Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam bested former congressman Tom Perriello in the Democratic primary, while former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie topped President Donald Trump's former Virginia campaign co-chairman Corey Stewart, according to unofficial returns posted online by the Virginia Department of Elections.

With 99 percent of precincts reporting on the GOP side, Gillespie led former Trump state campaign chairman Corey Stewart by just over 4,000 votes out of almost 365,000 ballots cast. Ron Villanueva of Virginia Beach, chairman of the House transportation committee. Gillespie won the state with just over one percent of the vote, beating out Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart, and Virginia State Senator Frank Wagner.

But Stewart said his supporters and Trump's voters won't back Gillespie until he can show that he's a "fighter" who supports them.

But on a night when the only suspense was supposed to be on the Democratic side, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, the insiders' favorite, put away progressive darling Tom Perriello easily and early.

Northam had the support of the state Democratic Party's core constituencies, including teachers groups and African-American political and religious leaders.

Vogel's win in the GOP lieutenant governor's primary was a painful defeat for Reeves, who pummeled Vogel with direct mail attacks during the campaign.

Frank Von Richter said he voted for Northam because he likes that the lieutenant governor is more "middle of the road" than Perriello and thinks he will work better with a Republican-controlled General Assembly.

"Our nominees will be traveling across the Commonwealth providing a clear alternative to the Northam/Perriello race to the left", the site says. "I commend him, and we agreed that we're going to bring all Democrats under the tent starting tonight".

"It is time for us to get back on offense and stop playing so many defenses", he said, the AP reported.

"This really does show we have a deeply divided party", Nohe said.

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Pelosi says it's "outrageous" and "beneath the dignity" of the House, adding: "How dare they say such a thing, how dare they". Scalise and four others were shot Wednesday morning during a Republican practice for the annual congressional baseball game .

He said people have been asking him if he would continue McAuliffe's policies if elected governor.

"It has made me realize how important local politics has become, considering I don't really feel like I have a whole lot of control in federal politics at the moment", Barrows said.

"All the national money and national attention will be coming this way", he said.

Perriello ran against Northam as an unapologetic liberal crusader supported by prominent national Democrats like Sens. While both men campaigned on relatively progressive liberal platforms, Perriello - who dubbed Trump a "narcissistic maniac" in one notable campaign ad - was seen as leaning further to the left, prompting national news outlets to cover the race as both a 2017 version of Hillary Clinton vs. Bernie Sanders and an assessment of what liberal voters want from candidates. Mark Warner a close race in 2014. That spike didn't materialize.

By 4 p.m., Williamsburg's two polling precincts had seen 14 percent of its voters cast ballots.

Virginia, unlike many states, has open primaries and no voter registration by party, meaning any Virginian can vote in any primary he or she wishes. "Now we're talking about a $15 minimum wage, consumer debt, environmental justice", Perriello said to his supporters at the State Theatre in Falls Church.

Northam, a 57-year-old pediatric neurologist from Norfolk with a genteel nature cultivated on the rural Eastern Shore, enters the general-election campaign in a strong position. In short, Trump may do for Democrats what President Barack Obama did for Republicans - give them a new lease on life.

Already looking ahead to the November contest, Gillespie has criticized both Democrats as being hostile to charter schools and Virginia's status as a right-to-work state, a business-friendly policy that makes it hard for labor unions to organize. The new governor will replace the current Governor Terry McAuliffe.

The Virginia gubernatorial election will take place November 7.

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