Proud to cast vote for Perriello

The good news for Northam is that if they fail to show up, the race could swing his way.

Voters head to the polls Tuesday in Virginia's primary contests for governor, with the white hot Democratic contest coming down to a choice between heads and hearts.

Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam won the Democrats' primary for Governor on Tuesday, but the contest to be his ticket-mate remains up in the air. Despite the support of the state party's establishment and elected leaders, Northam began the race ahead of Perriello and has since steadily fallen behind.

In Fauquier County, Prince William County Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart won the Republican Party primary for governor as results from around the state continued to be tabulated to determine the ultimate victor.

While Perriello may have embraced the party's progressive, populist mantle more than Northam, there are few gaps between the two when it comes to policy. In 2013, the same year that Democrats swept all three of Virginia's statewide offices, the GOP won 67 seats in the state house. Meanwhile, Northam, the current lieutenant governor, is being supported by every elected Democrat in the executive or legislative branches of government in the Old Dominion.

Meanwhile, Northam has the state's Democratic establishment in his corner - McAuliffe and Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, the latter Clinton's running mate past year. "Warren and Bernie support, I'm all for", Butler said. "A Perriello win could send a strong message to Democratic establishments across the country: 'You need to figure out how to deal with this massive new progressive energy before it goes right around you'".

Unlike Northam's long history in state politics, Perriello, who served a brief tenure in Congress from 2008 to 2010, has no state politics experience.

Change Research conducted two polls before the Virginia poll, one in the Montana special election and another in the Georgia special election vote on April 18. But Perriello's identification with Barack Obama - which he highlights in his own ads - could also help him among black voters.

At the outset of the campaign, Perriello drew headlines for his full-throated assault on Trump, an apparent effort to nationalize the race and coalesce the growing resistance to the incoming administration's controversial agenda. "And so I think it's fair to refer to him as a narcissist, because that's what he is".

Although the Democratic contest garnered the most pre-election attention, Gillespie's narrow victory against former Trump state campaign chairman Corey Stewart provided the night's biggest surprise.

There are both Democratic and Republican primaries for both governor and lieutenant governor - a rarity in Virginia, where parties often select candidates by way of a party convention.

In northern Virginia, some voters told News4 they also preferred Northam for being more middle of the road and for his experience.

Wagner, a 25-year GOP lawmaker, wrapped up his low-key, policy-driven campaign with stops in southwest Virginia and a continued focus on transportation and technical education issues.

Gillespie basically ignored his competition, flame-throwing chair of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors Corey Stewart, and the strategy seemed to work.

Northam, 57, a pediatric neurologist and former Army physician from Virginia's conservative eastern shore, voted twice for Republican President George W. Bush, something he attributes to being "under-informed" before entering politics.

  • Larry Hoffman