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Northam Endorses McAuliffe in Primary for Governor

AP Photo / Steve Helber

One of the biggest endorsements in Virginia politics came out Thursday when Governor Ralph Northam threw his support behind former Governor Terry McAuliffe who wants his old job back.

“He was a great 72nd Governor of the Commonwealth. He'll be an even greater 74th Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is a pleasure for me to be here today to endorse my friend, Terry McAuliffe,” Northam said.

McAuliffe is considered the front runner in a five-way race. The Associated Press reported that Northam met with three other candidates regarding his endorsement. Those were Lt Gov Justin Fairfax, Former Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy, and State Senator Jennifer McClellan. Delegate Lee Carter is not seeking Northam’s endorsement.

Endorsements often help candidates fundraise but since McAuliffe is considered one of the best fundraisers in American politics, this endorsement might work a different way.

“It's probably not so much the fact that McAuliffe is going to benefit from, uh, gaining, uh, additional contributions through Northam’s endorsement,” said John McGlennon, a professor of government and public policy at the college of William & Mary. “In essence Northam [is] sort of cutting off an opportunity for people to use that endorsement as a way of distinguishing themselves to potential donors.”

2021’s first fundraising totals aren’t out yet, but according to the latest information from the Virginia Public Access Project, Carroll Foy has raised the most money other than McAuliffe. Her big endorsements have been from progressive organizations.

The Democratic Primary is on June 8th. The deadline to register to vote in the primary is Monday, May 17th.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Jahd Khalil is a reporter and producer in Richmond.
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