Virginia Primaries: Gillespie wins close Republican race; Northam clinches Democratic

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

Northam said he'd do everything he could to reach out to Perriello backers.

The Virginia gubernatorial election will take place November 7. Running on a left-leaning populist platform, he earned the backing of noted progressives like Sens. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen.

Meanwhile, Northam's win capped off fierce competition on the Democratic side, where he faced off against former congressman Tom Perriello.

Perriello conceded defeat about 90 minutes after the polls closed. "I don't know about you, but I am inspired to keep fighting tonight". "Now we're talking about a $15 minimum wage, consumer debt, environmental justice", Perriello said to his supporters at the State Theatre in Falls Church.

Mr. Perriello became the latest Bern victim, notching another loss for the senator from Vermont who electrified Democratic voters past year but who has struggled to turn his movement into a winning electoral campaign. This is too important an election. "This is the bellwether of the country", he said in his victory speech.

"Corey did prove he's a more formidable candidate than anyone gave him credit for, but that means nothing if he doesn't use it to help Ed win", Nohe said.

"I am not going to overanalyze that statement, but I like it", said 80-year-old Jim Hensen, a retired Air Force master sergeant who backed Mr. Northam.

The biggest surprise was on the Republican side.

Although the Democratic contest garnered the most pre-election attention, Gillespie's narrow victory against Stewart, the former state campaign chairman for President Donald Trump, provided the night's biggest surprise. But there is a catch: You can only vote in one primary, either the Democratic primary or the Republican primary.

Gillespie's strength in Fairfax County seemed to be providing the edge as final returns came trickling in. Tim Kaine (D-Va.). He also saw endorsements from every Democrat in the state legislature and three of Virginia's four Democratic members of Congress. NARAL Pro-Choice America, the National Education Association teachers' union, and several gun control advocacy groups endorsed Northam.


Former RNC Chair Ed Gillespie won the Republican nomination in a close race.

Gillespie dominated his challengers in fundraising efforts. She was anxious that Stewart would doom the GOP's chances in November if he won the nomination. But Stewart's stronger-than-anticipated performance is a reminder that Trump, despite sub-40 approval ratings nationally, remains popular with Republicans, even as investigations into his associates continue to rock Washington.

The victor on the Democrat side, Ralph Northam, notes that as lieutenant governor, he cast tie-breaking votes to ban employment discrimination based on sexual orientation in state government; to repeal the "infamous and medically unnecessary" mandate requiring an ultrasound before abortion; and to raise the minimum wage for all working Virginians. "I didn't want to vote for a lobbyist, and as for Wagner, I didn't want to free up a state Senate seat", he said.

A better way to put it may be that the Republican Party is heading out the back door and into the backwoods where it belongs.

The race for governor, especially, has focused almost as much on reaction to events in Washington as to policy concerns within the state. Virginia is one of two states electing governors this year.

"We're going to see this play out all across the nation", John Weaver, an anti-Trump Republican strategist who works with Ohio Gov. John Kasich, told BuzzFeed News in an email.

While Stewart was all-in with Trump, Wagner based his run on his 25 years of experience in the General Assembly - a strategy that defied the anti-establishment fervor that accompanied Trump's rise. He has been a lukewarm supporter of Trump, but cast himself as a true conservative who will cut taxes and promote business.

The most crowded GOP primary was a six-way contest for outgoing Del.

Nohe adds that he's "struggling a bit" that Republican voters didn't offer any sort of overwhelming rejection of Stewart's more incendiary rhetoric defending Confederate statues and monuments - the chairman often compared people seeking to remove these symbols to terrorists.

Steve Chapman cast a ballot for Stewart at the George Mullen elementary school in Manassas.

"Stewart claims to speak for people like me", says Sam Travers, a truck driver from Prince William County, where Stewart is a county supervisor. "That's what's he does". Northam had pushed his campaign further to the left and has described Trump as a narcissistic maniac - while Perriello instead attempted to reach out to Trump voters by selling a message of economic populism framed through a progressive perspective. Democratic turnout was through the roof with more than 543,000 votes.

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