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Ralph Northam Wins In Democratic Primary For Virginia Governor

By in Huffington Post on June 14, 2017

By Daniel Marans

WASHINGTON ― Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam defeated former congressman Tom Perriello in the Virginia Democratic gubernatorial primary on Tuesday, handing a humbling loss to progressive activists who had flocked to Perriello’s candidacy.

Although Perriello enjoyed greater support among millennials, liberals and residents of Southwestern Virginia, his campaign hopes depended on getting many of them to turn out for the first time.

Ultimately the 42-year-old Charlottesville native and former diplomat was not able to expand the electorate enough to offset Northam’s advantage with more consistent Democratic voters, including many black Virginians and seniors.

“It’s still an uphill climb for groups that are farther to the left to succeed even in a Democratic Primary,” said Geoffrey Skelly, an expert in state politics at the University of Virginia. “There’s a lot of excitement. But at the end of the day, there are a lot of Democratic voters that are center-left and not left.”

“We fell short tonight at the polls, but after being outspent by over $3 million dollars, we showed that a grassroots effort can bring hundreds of thousands of people to the polls,” Perriello said in his concession speech at the State Theatre in Falls Church, Virginia. “We had an amazing conversation that hadn’t been had enough in this Commonwealth about rising and radical inequality, and skyrocketing debt and consumer debt.”

Northam, a 57-year-old pediatric neurologist from the Hampton Roads area, now faces off against the Republican gubernatorial nominee, which was not immediately announced. Ed Gillespie, a Beltway power broker and former Republican National Committee chairman, has consistently led […]    

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