Northam wins Virginia gubernatorial race

Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam defeats Republican Ed Gillespie in first major statewide race since Trump’s election


Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) will be Virginia's next governor. 

Mariana Fraser | Cavalier Daily

Democrat Ralph Northam has won Virginia’s 2017 gubernatorial race. Northam’s opponents were Republican Ed Gillespie and Libertarian Cliff Hyra.

Leading up to Nov. 7, this race has been tracked by the national media and political experts due to the tight polls and its position as one of the first major elections after the 2016 election of President Donald Trump (R). Many have framed this Virginia election as a referendum on the Trump administration. 

Northam’s campaign, along with the Democratic Party, have used this to their advantage through political advertising that compared Gillespie to Trump. Northam’s campaign was recently criticized for associating Gillespie with the white supremacists that organized rallies in Charlottesville on Aug. 11 and 12.

Northam received support from former President Barack Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez and many other Democrats. Obama visited Richmond earlier in October for a campaign event, and both Virginia senators recently visited Charlottesville for “Get Out The Vote” efforts. 

In addition to rhetoric about the current president, other issues in this election have included health care, jobs, crime, immigration and Confederate monuments.  

On Grounds, University students have been actively campaigning for both candidates. A recent poll by The Cavalier Daily found about 53 percent of respondents supported Northam for governor. Nineteen percent of respondents expressed support for Republican Ed Gillespie and four percent for Libertarian Cliff Hyra.

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