Virginia Primaries: Ralph Northam fends off progressive Tom Perriello with double-digit lead


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, .

Gillespie, a former George W. Bush aide, campaigned off the goodwill he established with Republicans after his narrow loss to Democratic Sen.

Perriello nonetheless drew major support from the Sanders wing of the party, and coverage of the race often cast it as a fight between the Democratic progressive and centrist wings.

Conservative Republican Corey Stewart narrowly lost Virginia's gubernatorial primary on Tuesday, June 13.

(A margin of less than one percent would have triggered an automatic recount.) Gillespie's opponent Corey Stewart, a demagogue on immigration who made an issue over taking down Confederate monuments, vastly over-performed in his primary, just as President Trump did in the 2016 campaign season.

Statewide, the race between Reeves and Vogel was also within 2 percentage points at the Virginia Gazette's deadline. Two months ago, Stewart participated in an "ask me anything" session on Reddit's largest pro-Trump forum, where, among other things, he called Gillespie a "cuckservative". The 29-year-old restaurant manager said having Trump in the White House has pushed her to become more interested in state and local politics.

Republican Jill Vogel and Democrat Justin Fairfax won their respective nominations for Lieutenant Governor. Northam faced former Rep. Tom Perriello in the primary.

All six Virginia House of Delegates incumbents who were facing a primary challenger are headed to the November general election.

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Norfolk resident Andrew Patton was one voter drawn to Stewart, who briefly served as Trump's campaign chairman in Virginia before he was sacked from the post. He said he was drawn to Perriello after watching his town hall meetings online.

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. "The issues Tom was talking about resonate hugely in rural Virginia".

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. "I think it has bigger consequences than people imagine".

"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.

Perriello also says he will concentrate on lowering debt for education - and will fund two years of free community college for trade and apprentice schools.

Northam now faces Gillespie, who is calling for a tax cut for all Virginians.

Democratic Governors Association Chairman Dan Malloy of CT, meanwhile, said in a statment that Northam would "continue Governor McAuliffe's work of growing the economy, fighting for the middle class and protecting Virginians' health care".

Northam, a well-liked pediatric neurologist, had a head start on the trail and in money raised. Already in states like Ohio, Michigan, and SC (states that Trump won) Republican gubernatorial prospects are aligning themselves with the president in hopes of winning his voters, if not his endorsement.