In Virginia, Both Parties Use Trump To Turn Out The Base : NPR

Democratic candidate for governor, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, (L) shakes palms with Republican challenger Ed Gillespie after a debate on the University of Virginia-Wise in Wise, Va., Monday, Oct. 9,

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Democratic candidate for governor, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, (L) shakes palms with Republican challenger Ed Gillespie after a debate on the University of Virginia-Wise in Wise, Va., Monday, Oct. 9,

Steve Helber/AP

There’s no such factor as an off yr in Virginia politics: it is one among two states, together with New Jersey, holding gubernatorial elections in 2017. Those races can function a testing floor for the political events’ messages forward of the 2018 mid-terms.

The Virginia governor’s race has been tight, with latest polls predicting contradictory outcomes. The stakes really feel particularly excessive this yr within the wake of the 2016 presidential marketing campaign, which uncovered divisions not solely within the nation as an entire, however in each main events. Attack adverts have escalated in latest weeks, as two candidates who have been seen months in the past as average, institution figures inside their respective events have pitched more and more dire messages to their core voters.

On the Republican ticket, Ed Gillespie’s resume is arguably straight from the Washington, D.C. “swamp” that President Trump has promised to empty: he is a former Republican National Committee Chairman, George W. Bush Administration adviser, and lobbyist.

Ed Gillespie speaks at his rally in Fredericksburg, VA, on Nov. 1.

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Ed Gillespie speaks at his rally in Fredericksburg, VA, on Nov. 1.

Sarah McCammon/NPR

His Democratic opponent, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, has sought to color Gillespie as a Washington politician out to profit himself, in distinction along with his personal background as a pediatric neurologist.

None of that bothers Trump supporter Laurie Posner, a retired paramedic from Stafford, Va. who got here to listen to Gillespie converse this week in Fredericksburg.

She wore a black “Make America Great Again” ball cap to the Republican get-out-the-vote occasion on the Fredericksburg Expo and Conference Center, a salmon-pink constructing about an hour from Washington, D.C. that normally hosts gun exhibits and craft gala’s. Posner mentioned Gillespie is saying what she wants to listen to about points like immigration.

Races For Governor Put Trump's Immigration Message On The Ballot

“Everything that Trump wants for America, Gillespie wants that too,” she mentioned. “He will follow the agenda of our president. And that’s what we need.”

Gillespie has been working to energise Trump supporters like Posner, with out turning off moderates by aligning too intently with the President. He’s run controversial adverts specializing in crimes dedicated by undocumented immigrants, however he is by no means introduced his personal get together’s sitting President to Virginia to marketing campaign on his behalf.

On stage in Fredericksburg, earlier than a virtually all-white viewers, Gillespie alluded to the racial and identification politics which have popped up within the marketing campaign. He referred to what he known as a “vile despicable ad” from an outdoor group, the Latino Victory Fund, which depicted kids from racial and non secular minorities operating away from a pickup truck with a Gillespie bumper sticker. The advert was rapidly pulled within the wake of the lethal truck badault in New York City.

Gillespie criticized Northam for not disavowing it; Northam defended the advert after which mentioned it wasn’t the type of advert he would have chosen to air, in keeping with the Washington Post.

“That revealed that he does not just disagree with millions of his fellow Virginians; he disdains millions of his fellow Virginians,” Gillespie advised the group.

Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam speaks to enterprise leaders in Chesapeake, Va. on Sept. 30.

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Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam speaks to enterprise leaders in Chesapeake, Va. on Sept. 30.

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Meanwhile, Northam has additionally confronted badaults from the left wing of the Democratic Party. In October, he got here underneath hearth after his African American operating mate, Justin Fairfax, was left off some marketing campaign leaflets handed out as a part of voter mobilization efforts. The leaflets have been distributed on behalf a labor union that had declined to endorse Fairfax due to his opposition to proposed pipelines by Virginia.

Northam’s marketing campaign spokesman has acknowledged that the matter was “mishandled,” and Northam has since appeared with Fairfax at a number of marketing campaign occasions.

This week he additional angered some liberal activists when he advised Norfolk TV station WAVY he’d be keen to signal a invoice banning sanctuary cities for undocumented immigrants, and that “I’ve always been opposed to sanctuary cities.”

See my earlier tweet. As the founding father of DFA, I believe it is a harmful and silly badertion and I oppose this motion by DFA https://t.co/etpjiUHtwN

— Howard Dean (@GovHowardDean) November three, 2017

As lieutenant governor, Northam forged a tie-breaking vote towards laws that might have banned hypothetical sanctuary cities in Virginia, despite the fact that the state would not have any sanctuary cities. As a consequence, Gillespie has accused Northam of casting a “deciding vote” in badist of sanctuary cities, a declare that FactCheck.org has labelled “misleading” due to the difficult bigger context round that vote.

The liberal group Democracy for America responded with a scathing badertion calling Northam’s marketing campaign “disastrous and racist.” The group’s unique founder, former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, denounced the transfer as “harmful and silly.”

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In an effort to shore up badist with core voters, Northam has been campaigning with outstanding black Democrats, together with former President Obama final month in Richmond. Campaigning with New Jersey Senator Cory Booker within the D.C. suburbs on Wednesday, Northam framed Virginia’s governor’s race as a referendum on Trump.

“We cannot let what we saw in 2016 – and now what we’re watching in Washington, D.C. – we can’t accept that as being the new normal,” Northam mentioned.

In this off-year marketing campaign – the place turnout is low and stakes are excessive – each events are making the race about President Trump.




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