Pence to campaign for Ed Gillespie in southwest Virginia

Mike Pence
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence waves as he arrives at the airport in Tallinn, Estonia, Sunday, July 30, 2017. Pence arrived in Tallinn for a two day visit where he will meet Baltic States leaders to discuss regional security issues as well as economic and political topics. (AP Photo/ Mindaugas Kulbis)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence will be campaigning in southwest Virginia this week with Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie.

Gillespie spokesman David Abrams says Pence and Gillespie will appear at a rally Saturday in Abingdon. It will be Pence’s first campaign event for Gillespie, a former Republican National Committee chairman who is facing Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam.

The race is one of only two off-year gubernatorial contests in November, and it’s being viewed as a possible early referendum on President Donald Trump’s first year in office and a preview of the 2018 midterm elections.

Pence’s visit will come about a week after Trump weighed in on the race for the first time. The president took to Twitter to criticize Northam and urge voters to support Gillespie.