Ralph Northam wins Democratic nomination for governor

Democratic candidate for governor, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam greets voters at a canvas kickoff Tuesday, June 13, 2017, in Chesterfield, Va. Lt. Gov Ralph Northam faces former Congressman Tom Perriello in today's primary.

The general election will be a closely-watched affair as the first statewide competitive contest of the Trump era in a state that's been consistently trending blue.

Three Republicans are vying to become the party's nominee for Virginia's next Lieutenant Governor.

Virginia's gubernatorial contest has received widespread national attention as the swing state is one of only two states electing new governors this year.

In Virginia, polls are open from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m.

The GOP race on Tuesday was too close to call, with former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie polling slightly ahead of Corey Stewart, the former co-chair of President Trump's Virginia campaign and the chairman of Prince William County's Board of Supervisors.

Former U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello is running as a liberal crusader who has the support of national Democrats such as Sens.


Northam and Perriello have both promised to raise the state's minimum wage to $15 per hour. He energized many new-to-politics voters who oppose Trump and promised to support a grab-bag of progressive policies, like raising taxes on the wealthy, using public funds for political campaigns or mandating union membership. He has also vowed to fight Trump, but with pledges to work with state Republican lawmakers on issues like a tax overhaul. In November, she will Justin Fairfax, an attorney from northern Virginia, who won the Democratic nomination.

"His agenda and Repulicans in Congress scare me, so very motivating for me to be out", Democratic voter Ray Crittenden said.

Democrats will likely end primary day in good shape for November.

On the Republican side, Gillespie, a moderate Washington insider, is trying to fend off under-funded but spirited campaigns from Wagner and Stewart, an avid Trump supporter. The difference between a fully-empowered Republican governor and a weakened Democrat would be equally significant. Elections officials say poll workers are taking provisional ballots in the parking lot. Stewart's campaign has mostly been composed of attacks on undocumented workers, defense of Confederate monuments, and oaths of fealty to the president. "If I can send a message at the local level, that's a start". And even though the man he once supported in the presidential race is endorsing Perriello, he said he's still lining up behind Northam, citing his experience as lieutenant governor, his military service and his career as a pediatric neurologist. Northam, who brands himself as a pragmatist, is backed by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, a longtime supporter and friend of the Clintons, and by both of Virginia's Senators, Tim Kaine and Mark Warner. When so much is at stake, none of us can afford to sit out elections or elect the wrong candidate who is not up for the task.

"To be honest, I'm happy with either one but feel like Ralph has the experience", Judy Helmich said. Elizabeth Warren and heavily bankrolled by Democratic super donors George Soros and Donald Sussman.

All across Virginia, voters are heading to the polls for the state's primary election.

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