But despite a huge financial disadvantage and the general impression he was a clown running a circus-like campaign, Prince William County supervisor Corey Stewart threw a big scare into Gillespie and other Virginia Republicans by very narrowly missing an upset win against the front-runner.
Ed Gillespie, Senior Adviser for the Romney Campaign, speaks to the crowd on stage during Mitt Romney’s campaign election night event at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center on November 6, 2012 in Boston, Massachusetts.
In Fairfax and Loudoun counties more Democratic ballots than Republican ballots were being cast, in part because the Democratic race for governor between Northam and former Perriello was seen as the closest race.
Northam, a low-key pediatric neurologist, ran as a pragmatist with state’s Democratic establishment’s firm support. Northam had always been considered the Democrats’ successor to Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who’s prohibited by law from running for a second term.
Perriello made a surprise entrance into the race in January and faced an uphill climb from the beginning.
“Are we ready to win in November?”
In the House of Delegates, all 100 seats were on the ballot.
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”. Still, it appears enough Virginians still put stock in Northam’s decade of Richmond experience, especially in the DC suburbs where the Post’s endorsement might have swayed voters unfamiliar with both candidates, Skelly says.
“We will run a tireless campaign to make sure that we can get Virginia moving again”, said Gillespie, who declined to take questions from reporters.
“I am not going to overanalyze that statement, but I like it”, said 80-year-old Jim Hensen, a retired Air Force master sergeant who backed Mr. Northam.
“If Donald Trump didn’t carry the state of Virginia, I don’t know how Corey is going to”, she said.
“It has made me realize how important local politics has become, considering I don’t really feel like I have a whole lot of control in federal politics at the moment”, Barrows said.
That means expanding Medicaid, protecting abortion rights, stopping hatred coming from Washington and trying to stop gerrymandering, Northam said. Northam, a doctor and former state senator, bested Perriello, a former congressman and former State Department envoy under President Obama, by 11.8 percent. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. Perriello’s energetic campaign drew national attention and spurred Northam to adopt a similarly aggressive anti-Trump message.
But the results in that race were much closer than expected. That spike didn’t materialize.
At 10:25 p.m. Stewart said that he planned to wait for all precincts to come in before deciding his next move.
Virginia, unlike many states, has open primaries and no voter registration by party, meaning any Virginian can vote in any primary he or she wishes. Addressing his supporters at the State Theatre, Perriello said: “Together we helped elevate mainstream ideas that should have been there all along”, citing his support for a $15 minimum wage as an example. But like Perriello, Northam has been unsparing in criticism of Trump, calling him a “narcissistic maniac”. Perriello’s last-minute entry into the race earlier this year forced Northam to ratchet up his campaign much sooner than expected to take on Perriello’s challenge from his left flank.
Already looking ahead to the November contest, Gillespie has criticized both Democrats as being hostile to charter schools and Virginia’s status as a right-to-work state, a business-friendly policy that makes it hard for labor unions to organize.