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Gillespie, Northam Win In Virginia Primaries

20 June 2017

It makes very tangible the threat of Trump fans to mount primary challenges to Republican "cucks" (the alt-right term that Corey Stewart has deployed) who dare refuse fealty to the mogul. State Sen. Frank Wagner of Virginia Beach placed a distant third in the GOP race where he was banking on large support from voters in Hampton Roads and in rural parts of the state that never materialized. He avoided taking sides in the 2016 primary until early May, when he came out for Trump, and has since tried to keep his distance from the president.

Northam was backed by every statewide Democratic officeholder, while Perriello drew support of Democratic progressives, including U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. "But it's still up to the whole party to prove that our candidates are for all Virginians". The other state choosing a new chief executive is New Jersey, more often than not a solidly Democratic state. He begins the general election looking uphill at Democratic nominee Ralph Northam.

He and his supporters claimed a moral victory in the loss, saying they forced Mr. Northam to run to the left.

The nation was watching Virginia as a political laboratory for how the parties handle the deep divisions that followed last year's election of President Donald Trump.

"It is time for us to get back on offense and stop playing so many defenses", he said, the AP reported. Northam's campaign had been expecting about 320,000 voters, similar to the last contested Democratic primary in 2009. Ed Gillespie's narrow victory against former Trump state campaign chairman Stewart provided the night's biggest surprise.

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Mr. Stewart sprinted toward Mr. Trump, making immigration a centerpiece of his campaign, and accused Mr. Gillespie of running away from the president.

The lieutenant governor is a part-time position that involves presiding over the state Senate and breaking tied votes.

Former federal prosecutor Justin Fairfax won the Democratic primary in the lieutenant gubernatorial race, defeating former Joe Biden chief of staff Susan Platt and former federal prosecutor Gene Rossi with 49.1 percent of the vote. The former Republican National Committee chairman, garnered 43.7 percent of Republican primary votes. Jill Holtzmann Vogel (Fauquier) had a slight lead over fellow state Sen.

There was no major-party primary for the commonwealth's other major statewide elected office, the attorney general post.

Virginia Democratic candidate for governor, Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam supporters Mary Wright Baylor, center, and her husband Lew, of Springfield, Va., watch election returns with American Univsersity student Taylor Berlin, at a Democratic primary election party in Crystal City, Va., Tuesday, June 13, 2017.

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While Stewart did not immediately concede the election, Gillespie declared victory at an election night party at his Richmond campaign headquarters.

"Corey is only getting started draining the swamp", Fritsch said. But the stats, so far, look promising for the Democratic party and LGBTQ folks who will benefit from their inclusive policies. 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.

That lack of enthusiasm may have affected turnout. They will also need a positive message that offers traditional Democrats and newly alienated Republicans an alternative to Trump-Stewart Republicans. He'll have his work cut for him; Democratic turnout exceeded Republican turnout in Tuesday's primary by roughly 150,000 votes.

"This really does show we have a deeply divided party", Nohe said.

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