Virginia primary to help gauge U.S. political mood under Trump

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Traditionally the first big electoral contest following a general election, Virginia's gubernatorial race is accordingly an early verdict on the president. Ed Gillespie, a political consultant and adviser to former President George W. Bush, appears to have the edge among the Republicans running for governor.

Meanwhile, there was lunch-time rally at the Wing King on Sam's Circle for Republican candidate for Governor and former Virginia Trump campaign chairman Corey Stewart.

Voters will decide tomorrow which candidates will square off in November, and once that happens the numbers on future campaign funding reports will rise exponentially. 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. Both support a higher minimum wage, free community college, decriminalizing marijuana and expanded pre-K. Northam was expected to cruise in as the party's only choice, but after Trump's election, Perriello threw his hat into the ring, arguing that bolder leadership was needed to be push back against Trump-style politics.

Wagner has said proposed cuts are unrealistic and wants to increase the gas tax.

"Politicians have to be straightforward", Northam said.

Most of the focus has been on the Democratic candidates seeking to succeed Democratic incumbent Terry McAuliffe, who can not run again because of term limits. But if Mr Perriello can light a fire among the sorts of national-minded Democrats, heavily congregated in northern Virginia, who usually do not vote in state-level primary elections, he could pull ahead. A Perriello triumph, however, could signal the evolution of the party and the potency of a national message-and that backers of both Sanders and Clinton have found at least one candidate to agree on.

If anyone thinks their vote does not count, that no matter who they vote for, nothing changes, then I have two words for you: President Trump. Dominion Energy is backing the construction of one pipeline, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, and Perriello has been a vocal critic of the politically influential energy giant. But like Perriello, Northam has been unsparing in criticism of Trump, calling him a "narcissistic maniac".

Pressed by NBC as to whether he would campaign with Trump, Gillespie also hedged and argued this was about state and local issues.

"All the national money and national attention will be coming this way", he said.

In 2014, he came within one percent of defeating Sen.

Governors of Virginia serve a single four-year term, and a sizable field is vying to succeed Democrat Terry McAuliffe. You can register to vote in the general election scheduled for November here.

Corey Stewart ran Trump's campaign in Virginia for much of previous year. Do they respond to Reeves' hot-button campaign which has featured ads showing terrorists running through subdivisions?

In Richmond, Kelly Barrows cast her ballot for Perriello because she said the former congressman more closely aligns with her progressive views.

For too long and for too many The Virginia Way in politics has been the parties taking turns dominating political leadership, and its polite opposition, whose primary concern has been maintaining itself in power.

Stewart has championed the Confederacy monuments and statues and has attacked Gillespie for not being pro-Trump enough. The district includes Manassas Park and part of Prince William County.

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