Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Northam defeats Perriello for Democratic nomination for governor; Gillespie wins GOP nod

Gillespie is a former Republican National Committee chairman who had a huge fundraising advantage and enjoyed the solid backing of most state elected Republicans.

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.

"I would like to congratulate Ed Gillespie on securing the Republican nomination and moving one step closer towards becoming Virginia's next governor", said RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel in an official statement. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

A low-key pediatric neurologist, Northam delivered a fiery victory speech Tuesday before winning the Democratic primary.

After a closely contested race to shape the future of the Democratic Party, Tom Perriello lost to Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam in the Virginia gubernatorial primary.

"We have changed the conversation here in Virginia and elevated the voices of those who have been left out of the political conversation for too long", Perriello said, pointing specifically to his calls for a $15 minimum wage and a "clean energy future" that doesn't include new natural-gas pipelines.

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At his victory party, Gillespie joked that he'd been fiscally prudent by not spending any more than was necessary to win the primary and asked the supporters of Stewart and Wagner to get behind him. You all said that someone who supported our president, somebody who supported President Trump ... somebody who was out financed five-to-one ... somebody who was fighting against the establishment could never win! Clinton ally and current Governor Terry McAuliffe endorsed the sitting Lieutenant Governor. With about 99 percent of precincts reporting Tuesday, more than 536,000 people had voted in the Democratic primary.

With Northam's endorsements from a significant portion of the state's Democratic establishment, as well as from The Washington Post, and his easy defeat of Perriello, Tuesday's primary could be a roadmap for the type of candidates Democrats will seek going into the 2018 midterm elections. Gillespie was ahead of Stewart in the GOP contest in the region's suburbs. The Northam-Perriello race drew the most press interest because it was seen as a proxy for ideological battles in the Democratic party. Outside groups have poured money and attention into Virginia, and a vast army of new candidates have flooded the Democratic side of House races - including a record number of women candidates. Perriello in turn had a campaign ad in which he promised to "stop Donald Trump" while an ambulance, symbolizing Obamacare, was crushed behind him. Northam released a commercial in which he called Trump a "narcissistic maniac".

Gillespie barely scraped by, but in sprinting to his right to beat Stewart, he risks doing much worse in Northern Virginia counties than he did in his surprisingly strong 2014 Senate race against Sen.

Even though he held on to a lead that dwindled in the closing days, Mr. Gillespie enters the general election wounded, having failed to crack 50 percent in a race he was expected to dominate.

On the Democratic side, former federal prosecutor Justin Fairfax had a healthy lead over Susan Platt. Gillespie, in comparison, has hedged on whether he supports the president or would want his help in November - a clear general election strategy for a purple state that's increasingly trended blue in statewide contests. Those with more moderate views with the GOP stayed home.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - President Donald Trump had an outsized effect on Virginia's primary contests for governor, but not in the ways most people expected.

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