PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Tuesday is Primary Day in Virginia. Both Democratic candidates are appealing in a primary because they both are known in key areas of the state, and they are attractive candidates to the Democratic base.
Have you ever heard a candidate say this about a U.S. president?: “Donald Trump is a narcissistic maniac.”
That is a line from a commercial airing in support of Lt. Governor Ralph Northam, and he is the one who said it. WAVY’s Andy Fox asked him whether he regrets the harshness of description.
“No,” Northam answered. “The thing I worry about: Our president doesn’t have empathy, and that is certainly something we see with narcissism. Virginians are looking for someone as a leader who will stand up against his hatred, bigotry and to take Virginia to the next level.”
Northam is running against former Congressman Tom Perriello, from Northern Virginia, who got defeated in 2010 — in part due to his support for the Affordable Care Act. Perriello says former President Barack Obama approved the video he used in his commercial, but refuses to endorse anyone in a Democratic primary.
“That’s more love than what I expected, and I am honored to have his friendship, and to stand for some tough votes for his agenda.”
10 On Your Side interviewed Perriello during a roundtable discussion he was holding on the Peninsula, and his standing up for former President Obama matters to these voters.
“That does matter,” says voter Shanequa Vass. “It does show us he does stand up for his convictions, and for what he believes in, and he is willing to vote the way he believes.”
Northam wants you to know he’s been a state senator and lieutenant governor.
“Virginia wants to make sure we have a leader that has experience, and that knows how to get things done. We want someone who fights for the progressive values we believe in Virginia, and I believe that is what I bring to the table,” Northam says.
Perriello has support from the more liberal leaders of the party, like Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
“They have tapped into just how corrupt the system is, and how unequal it is, and people aren’t getting a fair shot. We use to have a cycle of opportunity, and now we have a cycle of debt,” Perriello says.
Northam points out that under the McAuliffe Administration — of which he is #2 — 200,000 new jobs have come to Virginia, and the unemployment rate has dropped from 5.4 percent to 3.8 percent.
Perriello says he will concentrate on lowering student debt for education, and has figured out the funding for free two years of community college for trade and apprentice schools.
There are three Republicans running in their primary election for governor: Ed Gillespie, Corey Stewart and Frank Wagner, who is a state senator representing parts of Virginia Beach.
Here are some important dates to keep in mind: Saturday is the last day to vote absentee in person, and the primary is Tuesday. When you show up at the polls, you will only be able to vote in one primary — either Democratic or Republican.