Ralph Northam

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Democrats are promising party unity after a hotly contested primary battle for governor.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam and former U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello urged Democrats to work together in this year's general election.

Their comments came Saturday evening at the party's annual Jefferson-Jackson fundraising dinner.

Northam defeated Perriello last week in a primary contest. Perriello said Saturday he "fully" endorses Northam.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Ralph Northam has won the Democratic nomination in Virginia's closely watched race for governor, defeating an insurgent challenger backed by U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

Northam beat former congressman Tom Perriello, with most polls reporting Tuesday.

The lieutenant governor secured victory thanks in part to his longer time on the campaign trail and fundraising advantage. Northam had the support of the state Democratic Party's core constituencies, including teachers groups and African-American political and religious leaders.

Don Rush

Virginia voters have begun casting their votes in the state's closely watched primary contests for governor that could be an early referendum on President Donald Trump.

Polls in Tuesday's primary races are open until 7 p.m.

The Democratic primary contest has been a hard fought battle between Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, the state party establishment's favorite, and insurgent candidate Tom Perriello. Both candidates have pledged fierce opposition to Trump and his policies.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginians are set to head to the polls Tuesday to pick a Republican and Democratic candidate in the closely watched race for governor.

The Old Dominion is one of only two states electing governors this year, and the primary could illustrate how voters feel about President Donald Trump's early months and the kind of response they want from Democratic candidates.

The highest profile contest is on the Democratic side, where Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam is in a close race with former congressman Tom Perriello.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Requests for absentee ballots in Virginia's Democratic primary contests are about twice as high as they are for the Republican primaries.

The nonprofit Virginia Public Access Project's data report shows requests for absentee ballots were heavy in large college towns. Most students will be out of class when the June 13 primaries occur.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Democrat Ralph Northam has outspent rival Tom Perriello by more than 2 to 1 on TV advertising in Virginia's closely watched governor's race with less than four weeks before the primary.

Spokesman for both campaigns said Wednesday their media tracking showed Northam had spent $1.2 million while Perriello has spent more than $500,000.

On the Republican side, Ed Gillespie is the only candidate spending money on TV. He's spent more than $235,000, according to media tracking company Advertising Analytics LLC.

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NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - Democratic hopefuls for governor of Virginia clashed over proposed gas pipelines and each other's past positions on gun rights and abortion in their penultimate debate in Norfolk.

The event Tuesday was mostly a study in nuance.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Republican gubernatorial hopeful Ed Gillespie is blasting Democratic rivals over labor laws with the help of two neighboring GOP governors.

Gillespie hosted a conference call for reporters Monday with Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin to praise Virginia's longstanding prohibition on mandatory union fees and dues.

Gillespie, who is competing in three-way race for the Republican nomination, criticized Democrats Tom Perriello and Ralph Northam for both explicit and implied opposition to Virginia's so-called right-to-work law.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Democratic hopefuls for Virginia governor are clashing over party loyalty and leadership qualities.

Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam blasted former congressman Tom Perriello at a Richmond debate Tuesday over his conservative congressional voting record while Perriello criticized Northam for twice voting for former President George W. Bush.

The two got into a testy exchange where Northam said Perriello should not throw stones from a "glass house" while Perriello said Northam was making false and "sad" attacks.

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Democrats Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam and former congressman Tom Perriello are arguing over who can better appeal to rural Virginia voters who supported President Donald Trump in last year's election.

Northam and Perriello met in Roanoke for their second debate Thursday.

Both said they were confident they could win over rural voters who largely vote Republican. Northam cited his rural upbringing on the Eastern Shore while Perriello noted his experience representing a congressional district with many voters.

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FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) - Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam highlighted his ability to attract Republicans while former congressman Tom Perriello touted his appeal to disillusioned voters as the two met in their first Democratic gubernatorial debate.

Northam had been expecting an easy path to the nomination, but Perriello launched a late campaign that has attracted support of the party's insurgent wing.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts has endorsed Tom Perriello in the Virginia governor's race.

Warren's endorsement means Perriello now has two of the leading progressive voices in the Senate backing his campaign. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont endorsed Perriello earlier this month.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Democrat Tom Perriello, an insurgent candidate for Virginia governor, outraised his opponents last quarter with big help from a wealthy donors like hedge-fund billionaire George Soros and the global activist group Avaaz.
 
Campaign finance reports filed Monday show Perriello raised $2.2 million since he got in the race in January, with about half coming from four donors.
 

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Sen. Bernie Sanders is endorsing Democrat Tom Perriello in Virginia governor's race.
 
Sanders announced the endorsement in a statement Tuesday morning, saying progressives must be elected "at every level of government if we are going to beat back the dangerous agenda of the Trump administration and its Republican allies."
 
The former congressman faces Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam in the June Democratic primary.
 

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Perriello is apologizing for comparing President Donald Trump's victory to the attacks in the United States on Sept. 11.

Perriello said Trump's election was "a little bit like, you know, a political and constitutional September 11" during a recent campaign stop. The comments were recorded and posted in a video online.

The former congressman apologized for the comparison Wednesday on Twitter and said he would not do it again.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Perriello says if elected he'll work to block construction of two proposed natural gas pipelines.

Perriello announced his opposition to the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Mountain Valley Pipeline at a Richmond news conference Wednesday.

The former congressman said the proposed pipelines, which have drawn opposition from environmentalists and property owners, are a bad investment and Virginia should instead focus on energy efficiency measures and renewable energy.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam has a slight early lead in the money race in Virginia's closely watched 2017 gubernatorial contest.

New campaign finance reports filed late Tuesday show Northam raising more than $1.6 million in the last half of 2016. Ed Gillespie, the former Republican National Committee chairman who is his party's establishment favorite for the GOP nomination, raised nearly $1.5 million.

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - Republican Ed Gillespie has launched his campaign for Virginia governor with a pledge to jump-start the state's economy, in part by cutting taxes.

The former Republican National Committee chairman is making a series of appearances around the state. His first three stops on Saturday were in Chantilly, Richmond and Virginia Beach.

Gillespie narrowly lost a U.S. Senate bid against Democrat Mark Warner in 2014.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam has joined a group of labor and community activists at a rally in support of raising Virginia's minimum wage and offering driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants.

Dozens of people gathered Thursday outside the Capitol for the demonstration.

Northam, who is running for the Democratic nomination for governor, said it's impossible for Virginians to support their families on the current $7.25 minimum wage.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe's budget proposal includes a $6 million pilot program that would provide women with long-term contraception such as intrauterine devices at no cost.

The Daily Press reports McAuliffe also pushed unsuccessfully last year for the program, which is modeled after a project in Colorado tied to decreases in the teen pregnancy rate and number of abortions.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman is dropping out of the race for the Republican nomination for governor of Virginia.

Wittman's campaign manager made the announcement Thursday afternoon.

Wittman represents the 1st Congressional District, which runs from Hampton Roads into the Fredericksburg area and Prince William County. He says he believes he can "do the most good for Virginia" by staying in Congress.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Two contenders for Virginia governor are touting their fundraising totals ahead of a campaign finance filing deadline.

Democrat Ralph Northam, the current lieutenant governor, said Wednesday said he's raised more than $1 million in the first half of this year for the 2017 gubernatorial contest. Republican Ed Gillespie said his political action committee has raised more than $850,000 in the first half of 2016.

The filing deadline for the latest round of campaign finance reports is Friday.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam now has the official backing of the Democratic Party's top state officials for his 2017 gubernatorial bid.

Northam's campaign said Saturday that Gov. Terry McAuliffe, U.S. Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner and Attorney General Mark Herring have all endorsed the lieutenant governor.

Herring announced last year he would run for re-election and not pursue the Executive Mansion.

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (AP) - Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli says he won't run for governor in 2017.

Cuccinelli told The Associated Press on Saturday at a state GOP convention that he had decided not to run.

The outspoken conservative who ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2013 said another gubernatorial campaign would be too taxing on his family life.

If he'd decided to run, Cuccinelli could have been a formidable challenge to other 2017 GOP gubernatorial hopefuls - former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie and U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia's lieutenant governor is urging federal officials to exclude Virginia from offshore drilling.

In a letter addressed to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on Thursday, Lt. Gov. Ralph S. Northam said offshore drilling has the potential to threaten the environment, defense, agriculture and tourism of the state.

Northam, a Democrat, has announced his plans to run for governor in 2017. In the letter, he cited the "demise of the Chesapeake Bay" and his work toward its restoration as one of the reasons he decided to run for public office.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam raised $660,000 last year for his gubernatorial campaign while his potential GOP challenger Ed Gillespie raised $483,000.

Gillespie raised virtually all of that amount in December, while Northam has been fundraising since April, newly filed campaign finance reports show.

Northam also raised an additional $63,000 for his lieutenant governor campaign account since October.

Republican attorney general hopeful Del. Rob Bell reported raising $635,000, with most of that coming from his House of Delegates account.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Control of the Virginia state Senate could come down to a swing-district in the Richmond area, and the contest is turning into a big-dollar slugfest with special interest groups and others spending heavily to try and shape the outcome

Democrat Dan Gecker is a developer who currently sits on the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors. He's facing Republican Glen Sturtevant, a medical malpractice lawyer and Richmond School Board member.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring says he will seek another four-year term as the state's top attorney.

The Democrat was widely considered to be a likely candidate for governor in 2017.

But Herring said in a statement Wednesday that he wants to build upon the progress he has made as attorney general, like reducing campus sexual violence and implementing policies to stem the growing heroin crisis.

Don Rush

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Senate has narrowly defeated a proposed private-school voucher program for disabled students.

The measure would have allowed parents of a disabled child to apply for the child's share of state funds that would otherwise go to his or her local public school system. The money could be used for tuition, fees and books at a private school.

The bill, sponsored by Del. Dave LaRock, a Loudoun County Republican, was passed by the House of Delegates 57-42 earlier this month.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Thanks to a tie-breaking vote by Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, the Republican-controlled Virginia Senate has passed a bill prohibiting discrimination in public employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

It was the first tie-breaking vote of the 2015 legislative session by Northam, a Democrat.

Two Republicans, Sens. Jill Holtzman Vogel of Fauquier County and John Watkins of Powhatan County, joined minority Democrats in support of the bill, resulting in a 19-19 tie.

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