Health Care

Pemberton Township native wins tight Va. primary race

Pemberton Township native wins tight Va. primary race”

In a statement Tuesday night, the Republican National Committee congratulated Ed Gillespie on his win: "Today's primary concludes a nasty race to the left by Democrats, while Virginia Republicans emerge unified and ready to win", RNC Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel said.

Virginia Democratic candidate for governor, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, with his wife Pam, left, son Weston, and daughter Aubrey celebrate his victory in the Democratic primary during an election party in Crystal City, Va., Tuesday, .

Stewart, the chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors and former chairman of President Donald Trump's Virginia campaign, ran on a Trump-style message of cracking down on illegal immigrants, attacking political correctness and rigorously defending Virginia's Confederate monuments.

Virginia's gubernatorial contest has received widespread national attention as the swing state is one of only two states electing new governors this year.

Ralph Northam won the Democratic gubernatorial nomination with the win being called as he was up 55% to Tom Perriello's 45% with 85% of the precincts reported.

Corey Stewart, the populist former Trump campaign state chairman who ran on an unrestrained Trumpian populist platform, stands only 1.15 percent back from Gillespie, who most mainstream outlets reported would coast to victory. Conversely, Perriello was endorsed by Sen. Bernie Sanders and former President Barack Obama singing his praises. He energized many new-to-politics voters who oppose Trump and promised to support a grab-bag of progressive policies, such as raising taxes on the wealthy, using public funds for political campaigns or mandating union membership.

In the Democratic primary, Northam was endorsed by almost all of the party's elective officials - from the statehouse to the courthouse.

"I see this as the midterm of the midterms", Felty said.

Democrats are hopeful that trend will carry through to November.

"I think he has the ability to move Virginia forward like McAuliffe has", the 80-year-old said.

Former Virginia Republican Congressman Tom Davis says "the Republican Party if moving from the country club to the country". Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, and Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who can not seek a consecutive term in office.

Northam is lieutenant governor of Virginia and a pediatric neurologist at the Children's Specialty Group in Norfolk.

"One of the things that I liked about his candidacy is that he seemed a bit more like a progressive candidate", said Priest, who voted for Sanders in the last presidential primary. But the majority were happy to back the more moderate and establishment-favored Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam over a liberal insurgent who sought to portray his candidacy as the tip of the spear of the anti-Trump resistance. Most polls show Gillespie with a double-digit lead.

Perriello has apologized for an anti-abortion amendment he voted for in Congress, and has distanced himself from his past praise of the National Rifle Association.

National progressives like Democratic Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner - Northam was considered the party's presumed nominee before Perriello's surprise entry into the race in January. For months, state Sen. But like Perriello, Northam has been unsparing in criticism of Trump, calling him a "narcissistic maniac".

The race between Corey Stewart and Ed Gillespie is too close to call. 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. It makes very tangible the threat of Trump fans to mount primary challenges to Republican "cucks" (the alt-right term that Corey Stewart has deployed) who dare refuse fealty to the mogul.

Wagner, meanwhile, touted his experience as a veteran lawmaker who can fix the state's congested highways.

Gillespie dominated his challengers in fundraising efforts.

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