As I’ve noted before, it’s always election season here in the commonwealth of Virginia; while almost everyone else in the nation is enjoying an off-year respite from debates, robocalls and campaign signs, we keep chugging right along in a never-ending campaign mode.
We get to say sayonara this year to Terry
McAwful McAuliffe and elect ourselves a new governor. Ed Gillespie seems to be heading toward a win in the Republican primary, but the Democratic primary is shaping up to be another ballot box brawl, a la Hillary vs. Bernie in 2016.
The heir apparent to McAuliffe is his lieutenant governor, Ralph Northam. Northam is a pediatric neurologist who earlier this spring did a campaign tour of the state’s abortion clinics. Needless to say, the pro-abortion Northam is the favorite of the Clinton crowd, and has been endorsed by McAuliffe (the ultimate Clinton crony) and Hillary’s own running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine.
Tom Perriello is the upstart candidate who has garnered the support of Bernie Sanders himself. Perriello is a former Democrat congressman who lost his House seat in the tea party wave of 2010, and has said his supporters are “100 percent Obama people.”
NBC News suggests the Democrat primary is more DC insiders vs. state insiders than it is a redux of the Clinton-Sanders kerfuffle.
“The dividing lines in this race are much more style than substance, with one candidate more DC-oriented in focus and support and other more Richmond-oriented,” says Jesse Ferguson, a former 2016 Clinton campaign aide and veteran of Virginia politics.”
Some have hypothesized that the race is more like the Democrat’s 2006 Senate primary contest, which saw Jim Webb, whose anti-Iraq War platform garnered national support, defeat Harris Miller, who had the support of state insiders; Webb went on to defeat Republican senator George Allen in the general election.
Virginia’s off-year elections are seen as a bellwether for the midterm elections that take place the following year. Republican Bob McDonnell, for instance, was elected governor in 2009, the same year Barack Obama was sworn in as president. Obama’s first midterm election in 2010 was a bloodbath for Democrats, who paid a steep price for their Obamacare votes. Democrats are desperate for a win in the Trump era, and will be spending big money in Virginia to swing some momentum in their direction.
The Democratic primary takes place June 13.