Northam wins Democratic gubernatorial nomination
Fairfax wins lieutenant gubernatorial Democratic primary, David Toscano wins House of Delegates Democratic primary
Virginia voters cast their ballots in the Democratic primary Tuesday, choosing their candidates for the gubernatorial, lieutenant gubernatorial and House of Delegates races.
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. Northam, a doctor and former state senator, bested Perriello, a former congressman and former State Department envoy under President Obama, by 11.8 percent. Heather Hill and Amy Laufer both won Democratic nominations for Charlottesville City Council, beating out incumbent councilman Bob Fenwick.
“We have an incredible slate of diverse candidates,” rising second-year College student Virginia Chambers, University Democrats spokesperson, said. “[We’re] so happy to work with them all to hopefully, at some point, take back the House.”
Northam will be competing against Ed Gillespie, who won the Republican gubernatorial primary, for the November general election. The former Republican National Committee chairman, garnered 43.7 percent of Republican primary votes.
Northam gained endorsements from key state Democrats, including Governor Terry McAuliffe, Attorney General Mark Herring, Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.). He also saw endorsements from every Democrat in the state legislature and three of Virginia’s four Democratic members of Congress. NARAL Pro-Choice America, the National Education Association teachers’ union, and several gun control advocacy groups endorsed Northam.
Perriello emphasized a progressive, national platform throughout his campaign and was endorsed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
“Perriello had a lot of support from national players, whether it was Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren or members of the Obama team,” Chambers said. “It was definitely a focus from outside on what Virginia needs for the future Democratic Party.”
Former federal prosecutor Justin Fairfax won the Democratic primary in the lieutenant gubernatorial race, defeating former Joe Biden chief of staff Susan Platt and former federal prosecutor Gene Rossi with 49.1 percent of the vote. Susan Platt earned 39.2 percent of the vote and Gene Rossi earned 11.7 percent of the vote.
In a statement issued after the primary was called, Platt congratulated Fairfax on his win, thanking her supporters and fellow candidates and urging Democrats to unite before the general election in November.
“We cannot allow Virginia Republicans to roll back rights for women and spread Donald Trump’s hateful and dangerous agenda across the Commonwealth,” Platt said. “There have been 40 lieutenant governors of Virginia, including 6 Johns, 4 James, 2 Roberts, and 1 L. Douglas. I have no doubt that one day soon, a Democratic woman will join that list.”
In the Democratic primary for the House of Delegates, incumbent Del. David Toscano defeated University doctoral student Ross Mittiga.
In the Charlottesville City Council Democratic primary, Amy Laufer and Heather Hill defeated incumbent councilman Bob Fenwick for the nomination. Joseph Platania won the Charlottesville City Commonwealth Attorney Democratic primary.
The general election will take place Nov. 7.