Northam pledges bipartisanship in first legislative session

Ralph Northam gives his acceptance speech after winning the race for Virginia governor on Nov. 7, 2017.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov.-elect Ralph Northam is promising to “unite” both parties in the General Assembly and push a bipartisan agenda in next year’s legislative session.

Northam told reporters Thursday at an event sponsored by the Virginia Press Association that his top legislative priorities areas next year include economic development, education and healthcare.

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The incoming Democratic governor-elect said he’s optimistic about chances to pass Medicaid expansion in Virginia, which state Republicans have steadfastly rejected in past years and say they still oppose.

Northam will work with a dramatically reshaped legislature when he takes office. A Democratic tidal wave wiped out a Republican near-supermajority in the House, with final control of the lower chamber still undecided because of ongoing recounts.

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