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Virginia Political News

New Journal and Guide State Endorsements for June 13th Primary

Governor: Ralph Northam

Both Democratic candidates for Virginia’s Governor have won support from members of the African American community in South Hampton Roads. However only one has won a hard fought statewide race which included a victory in Hampton Roads and is now running for Governor. That is Dr. Ralph Northam.

Northam is opposed by Tom Perriello of Northern Virginia, a charismatic man who is being supported by many because he is not a part of the current Virginia political fold. Democrats are still reeling from last year’s presidential election and many are resistant to the “tried and true” as represented by Northam who has 10 solid years in Virginia state politics. The Nation magazine rightly says that opposition to Trump is serving as the “rocket fuel” for Perriello’s campaign in Virginia.

And that it is. Perriello and Northam are running a very close race as the June 13th Primary approaches.

Not surprisingly, Perriello’s resistance campaign is being driven by 57% donations from outside of Virginia, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.

Northam is currently the state’s Lieutenant Governor, and is a familiar sight in Hampton Roads where he lives with his family. He is a strong supporter of women’s rights to choose, and he led the fight against the state’s transvaginal ultrasound mandate. Had that measure been adopted, women in Virginia seeking an abortion would have been required to undergo an unnecessary and invasive procedure.

As a practicing medical doctor, Dr. Northam understands, values and supports health care for all, and he favors expanding Medicaid in the state for the 400,000 underserved Virginians now exempt from that coverage.

He aptly chairs the Governor’s Task Force on Improving Mental Health Services and Crisis Response, designed to improve Virginia’s complex mental health services system.

And his pediatric neurological practice brings him close to the needs of this segment of the population. As chair of the Commonwealth Council on Childhood Success, he helped secure a federal grant creating up to 13,000 pre-K education spots for children from low income families.

It is well-known that Northam is no friend to the NRA and cast the tie-breaking vote that sought to allow Virginians to carry concealed weapons without a permit. He has fought for other gun control measures.

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For the record, Northam’s opponent Perriello, who won one term as a Congressman from Northern Virginia, voted against the assault weapons ban and boasted about it when he was running for re-election. In 2008, Perriello received the NRA’s top grade.

And on women’s rights, Perriello voted for the so-called Stupak Amendment which would have prohibited insurance companies in the Obamacare exchange program from covering abortion for all women.

A few weeks ago, WHRO-TV presented the two candidates for Governor over a statewide broadcast. The New Journal and Guide and the Virginian Pilot had representatives who fielded questions with WHRO moderator Cathy Lewis to Northam and Perriello. Northam, the senior statesman, presented stronger and with more confidence in his answers and demeanor.

Ralph Northam has proved to be good for Virginia. He will do well as Governor. He has earned the support of most of Virginia Democratic office holders, including both of our U.S. Senators and state leaders.

Virginia Democrats need to close ranks and focus their efforts on putting progressive and tested candidates in position to lead in re-energizing the Party for this and future victories.

On June 13, let us go out to the polls and let us vote Ralph Northam for Governor. Don’t assume your vote won’t count. It will.

Lieutenant Governor: Justin Fairfax

Three Democratic candidates are running for Virginia’s Lieutenant Governorship: Justin Fairfax, Susan Pratt, and Gene Rossi. A few weeks ago, they appeared at the Murray Center in Norfolk to tell Hampton Roads voters why each should be elected. In a straw poll that night, Fairfax won overwhelmingly, and we urge our readers to support him with their votes at the polls on June 13th.

For Justin Fairfax, the June 13th Primary is his second attempt at a statewide election. He ran a strong race for the state’s Attorney General in 2013, narrowly losing to current Attorney General Mark Herring. Fairfax did well in Hampton Roads and has been visibly campaigning in the area over the past year. He has won the endorsement of officials throughout Virginia.

Fairfax represents an opportunity for voters to support a capable African American in state leadership. If he wins the Lieutenant Governor’s seat this year, he will become the state’s second African American in that position. L. Douglas Wilder was the first and only one in 1985. Wilder went on to become Governor in 1989.

Fairfax is a former federal prosecutor and current litigator with a law firm in Northern Virginia where he lives with his wife, Cerina. a dentist, and two children. He worked for 2000 presidential candidate Al Gore and later in the Washington office of then-Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina. He was a co-chair for Warner’s 2014 re-election.

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Virginia needs a strong, upstanding and intelligent second-in-command leader at the state capitol. We can make Fairfax that leader on June 13th with our votes. Vote Justin Fairfax.

89th District: Joe Dillard, Jr.

Two young outstanding men are running for the 89th District seat that is being vacated by Delegate Daun Hester. They are familiar in the Hampton Roads community: Joe Dillard, Jr. and Jerrauld “Jay” Jones.

New Journal and Guide believes that Joe Dillard is the right man to represent residents of the 89th District. He has a heart and will for the concerns of the people that will serve him well as a member of the state legislature.

Dillard has been an active advocate for his community dating back to his undergraduate college days when he served as the president of his campus NAACP. He is currently working on his Master’s degree at NSU.

He went on to become the youngest president of any branch NAACP when he was elected to serve as president of the Norfolk City NAACP. He also serves as an officer with the Virginia State NAACP.

Dillard’s leadership of these civil rights branches has prepared him to engage opposition and negotiate solutions with people of all stripes and causes. They have
placed him in strategic positions where, undoubtedly, he has had to navigate uncharted courses. At times, he has had to be a fast learner and quick thinker which will help him overcome Republican opposition in the state chambers.

Support for Dillard comes from many directions, as people have watched him circulate in the community.

On June 13th, vote Joe Dillard, Jr. in the 89th District.

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