USA

Race: Gillespie will face Northam in November

Race: Gillespie will face Northam in November

Instead of a neck-and-neck Democratic race between Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam and former Representative Tom Perriello, and a walk in the Republican primary for former Republican National Committee boss Ed Gillespie, Northam sailed to an early, comfortable win while Gillespie barely eked out a win over Prince William County Board Chairman Corey Stewart. With over 99% of the precincts reporting, Gillespie was projected to win with over a percentage point. State Sen. Frank W. Wagner was carrying the remaining votes. Now the critical question is whether Stewart supporters will turn out for Gillespie in November. "When it comes, the growth and the job creation, Virginia should be first in the nation and we are going to be!"

Anyone in line when the polls close at 7 p.m. will still be able to vote.

"Virginia is going to be the match that sparks a progressive wildfire that spreads across the country".

The winds of anti-Trump sentiment sentiment seem to be blowing hard in Virginia as Democratic turnout for the 2017 Gubernatorial primaries appear to have broken previous records. Bernie Sanders by championing progressive ideals that could be tested on the national stage.

On the Democrat side, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam won with 303,846 votes (55.9 percent) to Tom Perriello's 239,505 (44.1 percent).

Perriello conceded about 90 minutes after polls closed. In Ohio, for example, US Rep. Jim Renacci already is campaigning with a message that mimics Trump's - and with the support of colorful groups such as Bikers for Trump. He also promised to reduce economic inequality.

Perriello has gained ground on Northam with the help of prominent national Democrats. "We could not have a more important election on our hands", he told his cheering supporters.

His voice quivering a bit, he paid tribute to his late mother and 92-year-old father.

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The biggest surprise was on the Republican side. Moderates, women, college-educated voters and suburbanites could decide to exit the Trump GOP in droves. She was anxious that Stewart would doom the GOP's chances in November if he won the nomination.

He said people have been asking him if he would continue McAuliffe's policies if elected governor.

Many voters said they were inspired to come out because of events in Washington.

Meanwhile, state Democrats are already crowing about their massive advantage in turnout for the primary - almost 543,000 people voted on the Democratic side, compared to about 366,000 for Republicans. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner - Northam was considered the party's presumed nominee before Perriello's surprise entry into the race in January.

"I can't recall any of the issues, I hate to admit", he said.

The race for governor, especially, has focused almost as much on reaction to events in Washington as to policy concerns within the state.

Northam will be competing against Ed Gillespie, who won the Republican gubernatorial primary, for the November general election. Stewart, with his prominent connections to the campaign, ran as a vocal Trump backer.

Gillespie, a political strategist and former chair of the Republican National Committee, emerged the victor with just over a percentage point. He repeatedly attacked Gillespie, the front-runner in the GOP contest for not defending the images of the state's past. Stewart, who rallied around Confederate symbols, was seen as little more than a nuisance, and a minor one at that.

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Steve Chapman cast a ballot for Stewart at the George Mullen elementary school in Manassas. "I will not campaign for him".

White nationalists flocked to Stewart's campaign of protection of Confederate monuments and hatred of immigrants. "I liked (Perriello) a lot, but I didn't think he could quite get enough people behind him in the general election". "That's what's he does". He pushed Northam to make the campaign as much about Trump as about state issues.

Finkel's vote, she said, is "mostly based off what I see on commercials". Northam released a commercial in which he called Trump a "narcissistic maniac".

The close results shocked many political watchers and shows Trump's enduring appeal among Republican voters in Virginia.

The Democrats have made elections in Virginia and Georgia a referendum on President Trump. Northam, the sitting lieutenant governor, was the establishment favorite, backed by current Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Virginia U.S. Sens.

Gillespie was endorsed by a raft of state and national Republican leaders. Bryce Reeves in the race for their party's nomination. Del. Self-funded candidate Gene Rossi was far behind.

All 100 House seats are up for election this year. As the centerpiece of his campaign, Gillespie is proposing reducing the income tax rate that most Virginians pay from 5.75 percent to 5.15 percent over three years as long as revenues grow. Republicans have a 66 to 34 advantage.

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