Northam, Gillespie Win Virginia Governor Nominations

Northam, Gillespie Win Virginia Governor Nominations

In the three-way Republican primary, former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie held a narrow lead over Corey Stewart, a Prince William County official who was Trump's Virginia campaign co-chairman before he was sacked.

He will face the victor of the Republican primary between former Republican National Committee Ed Gillespie, former Trump state campaign chairman Corey Stewart and state Sen.

In statewide results from Tuesday's Republican primary for governor, the extremism that has consumed the GOP threw a scare into the party of the elephant as self-declared "Trump mini-me" Corey Stewart took his campaign of hate to within a percentage point of victory over Ed Gillespie in his campaign to destroy what little sanity is left in the political landscape.

Republican candidate for governor, Ed Gillespie, smiles as he gives a victory speech at his victory party Tuesday, June 13, 2017, in Richmond, Va. Gillespie beat State Sen. Gillespie was expected to win easily, and the close contest shows Trump's enduring appeal among GOP voters in Virginia and a potentially rocky path forward for Republicans in a state where Democrats have win every statewide election since 2009.

On the Democratic side, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam defeated former congressman Tom Perriello. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. Perriello's energetic campaign drew national attention and spurred Northam to adopt a similarly aggressive anti-Trump message.

In November, Virginia will be one of only two states electing a governor, and the commonwealth's race has always been seen as the first indicator of the national mood after a presidential election the year before.

Democrats have seen a surge in candidates for the House of Delegates this year, where they have a longshot at taking back control of the chamber from Republicans in November.

"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.

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"Initial takeaways are that Northam performed strongly in the Urban Crescent- Northern Virginia, Richmond, and Hampton Roads-and that was all he had to do in the end", says Geoffrey Skelly of the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

"I don't know about you, but I'm inspired to keep fighting tonight", Perriello said. Virginia is one of two states electing governors this year.

In a statement congratulating Northam, outgoing Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe linked the Republican field to President Donald Trump.

Stewart proudly flew the Confederate flag at his rallies and showed up often in Charlottesville, where local officials want to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee from the city's downtown.

The race was called earlier in the evening for Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ralph Northam.

Gillespie's close race with Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chair Corey Stewart came as a major surprise. This is just the beginning.

Northam will now face former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie in the race for the governor's seat.

President Donald Trump had an outsized effect on Virginia's primary contests for governor, but not in the ways most people expected. Trump's approval rating in Virginia, in public and private polls, is now about 35 percent, creating headwinds for Gillespie and other Republicans. Gillespie, a GOP insider, was more cautious. Gillespie ran largely on pocketbook issues, like lowering the state income tax rate, but kept Trump at arm's length.

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