Listening to some of the political babble outside Virginia one would think only one candidate in the Democratic primary for Governor is progressive. The fact is Virginians know better. They not only understand Virginia, but know the real progressive in the race is Lt. Governor Ralph Northam. He is the only candidate with a consistent record of standing up for women’s rights, the rights of LGBT Americans, actually voted to curb the spread of guns in the state, and has a record in Virginia spanning years whereas his opponent’s entire voting record is based on one term in Congress. In those two short years he managed to vote against women’s rights by voting for the ‘Stupak’ amendment and voted against banning assault weapons.
These are just two of the reasons why every statewide Democratic office holder in Virginia; Governor McAuliffe, United States Senators’ Warner and Kaine, and Attorney General Herring have endorsed Northam. They know him, have worked with him, and know how to win elections in Virginia. Ralph Northam has also received the unanimous endorsements of the Virginia Democratic House and Senate Caucuses. They have worked with him, know and respect his record, and know he can win for Democrats across Virginia.
Because of his stellar progressive record on issues such as gun control, public education, women’s rights, the rights of minorities and veterans he has been endorsed by progressive organizations both in and outside of Virginia including: VoteVets, NARAL Pro-Choice America, NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, Virginia Education Association, LiUNA! Mid-Atlantic, The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Pride Fund, Equality Virginia PAC, The National Organization for Women, Virginia chapter of the National Organization for Women, and the Feminist Majority PAC. They all understand who the real progressive in this race is and Ralph Northam is the person they can count on in the long run.
Northam’s opponent entered the race late and was spurred into doing so by some out-of-state supporters who want him to win not necessarily for Virginians but to enhance their own interests. He is trying to enhance his reputation by running ads showing him with President Obama. However the clip he is using was filmed in Charlottesville back when the President’s hair hadn’t turned gray and when the candidate was running for reelection to Congress in 2010. While Northam’s opponent claims a stellar career, but other than his two years as a Congressperson it hasn’t been focused on Virginia. Virginians are recognizing that.
It is clear when you look at Northam’s opponent’s financials that in order to run he couldn’t count on Virginians. To fund his campaign he had to go out of state. The Washington Post reported “57% of his money comes from outside of Virginia” and his “haul was buoyed by several massive campaign contributions, with half of his money coming from four donors.”
The Post also reported progressives like Virginia lawmaker Marcia Price when talking about some of her “political idols” said “They have it wrong this time, their decision to jump into an intraparty contest in a state where neither have roots changed the dynamic of the race. That’s when we lose sight of what’s actually happening in Virginia and national politics and national conversation starts hijacking our campaign and our election.”
What Virginia Democrats understand is the very left-wing of the Democratic Party becoming involved in their primaries won’t help them in the long run. It may make some people feel good for the moment but if Virginia is going to turn more permanently blue it won’t be because of the party’s left-wing outside of the state. The very left-wing of the Democratic Party has never won a state-wide race in Virginia.
Democrats win in Virginia with candidates like Ralph Northam, a strong progressive who combines that with an in-depth understanding of how the state works and how Virginians think. The brand of politics the very left-wing espouses has never had the impact, or made the progress, in states like Virginia that strong progressives like Ralph Northam have and will continue to have when he is Governor.