Health Care

Hate and racism in Virginia's governor race

In statewide results from Tuesday's Republican primary for governor, the extremism that has consumed the GOP threw a scare into the party of the elephant as self-declared "Trump mini-me" Corey Stewart took his campaign of hate to within a percentage point of victory over Ed Gillespie in his campaign to destroy what little sanity is left in the political landscape.

Stewart, the chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors and a former co-chairman of Trump's campaign in Virginia, ran a controversial campaign, promising to fight the removal of Virginia's Confederate memorials and to crack down on illegal immigration, and pledging his loyalty to Trump and his policies.

Ed Gillespie's narrow victory against former Trump state campaign chairman Stewart provided the night's biggest surprise.

Northam said Perriello called him to concede the race. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

Northam easily defeated former Congressman Tom Perriello in a race that polls had suggested was a dead heat before Northam racked up a slew of last-minute endorsements, including a highly coveted one from The Washington Post. Because of that, it's time for Virginians to choose a new governor.

Local Democrats had been showering Northam with support during his campaign, with every member of the state legislature endorsing him.

Perriello campaigned on a promise to make Virginia "a firewall against hate, corruption and President Trump's assault on the Virginia values of decency and progress".

Fauquier has just 21 precincts and Stewart carried 51.26 percent of the vote compared to 38.77 percent for Ed Gillespie and 9.97 percent for Frank Wagner, a state senator from Virginia Beach.

Virginia is one of only two states electing governors this year, and the contest in the swing state that went for Hillary Clinton in November has received national attention.

A big showing for Trumpism in Virginia will leave other party operatives rethinking next year's competitive primaries in congressional and gubernatorial races.

Hyun Lee, 37, of Centreville, Virginia, who had done phone banking and knocked on doors for Northam, was one of the people at the party.

The vote will be the first statewide political contest since the election of President Donald Trump, and the controversial early days of his administration loom large over the contests on both sides of the aisle.

Gillespie, 55, of Fairfax County, has tried to avoid appearing either too critical or too supportive of Trump, a task that could become more hard in a general-election campaign targeting a broader audience of potential voters. By 3 p.m. almost 14 percent, or 7,681 people, had voted.

Mallory Noe-Payne reports that state Republicans aren't anxious about a low turnout in today's primary. He had previously served as the Trump campaign chair for Virginia before being fired from the unpaid position.

More than 560,000 people voted in the Democratic primary, a more than 240,000 voter jump from the last time there was contested primary in 2009.

Northam has also been forced to cope with an admission that he voted - in 2000 and 2004 - for candidate and then President George W. Bush. A total of five candidates are running to be Virginia's next governor. Now the critical question is whether Stewart supporters will turn out for Gillespie in November.

Both won hotly contested party primaries on Tuesday. She said she was leaning toward voting for Northam in the Democratic primary but liked what she heard from Perriello at his town hall last week in Leesburg. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, and Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who can not seek a consecutive term in office.

The Democratic primary in Virginia is expected to be close, as Perriello has gained ground on Northam with the help of prominent national Democrats.

He came very close to winning in Tuesday's primary election. Gillespie and Stewart say they want to cut the state's income tax rates.

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