Ralph Northam

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Former President Barack Obama is set to return to the campaign trail for the first time since he left office with a rally to help Democrat Ralph Northam in Virginia's closely watched race for governor.

The Northam campaign announced Wednesday that the lieutenant governor and Obama will appear together at an event in Richmond on Oct. 19.

Virginia is one of only two states electing new governors this year and the swing state's contest is viewed as a possible early referendum on President Donald Trump.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Former Vice President Joe Biden will visit northern Virginia this weekend to campaign with Democratic candidate for governor, Ralph Northam.

Northam's campaign announced Tuesday that Biden and Northam will host a roundtable discussion on workforce development Saturday in Reston.

Vice President Mike Pence plans to appear the same day with Republican nominee Ed Gillespie. The two are set to attend a rally in Abingdon, in southwest Virginia.

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WISE, Va. (AP) - The two major party candidates in Virginia's closely watched race for governor made pointed attacks at each other at their final debate ahead of Election Day next month.

Republican Ed Gillespie and Democrat Ralph Northam squared off Monday at the University of Virginia at Wise in the state's far southwest. The region, hit hard by a decline in coal mining, strongly backed Donald Trump in last year's presidential election.

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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.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam has canceled several campaign events following the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas.

The events were expected to feature former Democratic congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who has pushed for stronger gun control after she survived a gunshot wound to the head in 2011. Giffords and her husband were planning to praise Northam for supporting "responsible gun violence prevention policies" at a series of roundtable discussions in northern Virginia.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The candidates in Virginia's closely watched race for governor all promise to change the state's tax code.

Republican Ed Gillespie is promising an across-the-board cut on income taxes, Democrat Ralph Northam vows to cut grocery sales taxes for the poor, and Libertarian Cliff Hyra wants to ban some local business taxes.

But promising tax reform is a lot easier than enacting it once elected. Competing special interests and political concerns have hampered past efforts, and past governors have not always lived up to their campaign promises.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is helping raise money for the Democratic candidate in Virginia's closely watched race for governor.

An invitation obtained by The Associated Press says Clinton is the featured guest at a fundraiser for Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam in New York on Oct. 4.

Northam is facing Republican Ed Gillespie in one of only two off-year gubernatorial contests in November. The swing-state contest is viewed as a possible referendum on President Donald Trump's first year in office.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A group that mobilized black voters for Hillary Clinton plans spend more than $1 million in Virginia ahead of November's closely watched governor's race.

The Washington Post reported Thursday that the Black Progressive Action Coalition plans to spend $600,000 on voter education. An affiliated political action committee plans to spend $500,000 on mailers and digital ads.

The money will be spent on behalf of Democrats on the statewide ticket. That includes gubernatorial nominee Ralph Northam.

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AP)- The two major party candidates in Virginia's closely watched race for governor argued over taxes, President Donald Trump and what the state should do with its numerous Confederate statues.

Republican Ed Gillespie said at a debate in Northern Virginia on Tuesday that he's the only candidate with a sense of urgency and the right policies, which include cutting taxes to improve the state's economy, which he said is floundering.

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MCLEAN, Va. (AP) - The two major party candidates running to be the next governor of Virginia are set to square off at the their second debate.

Republican Ed Gillespie and Democrat Ralph Northam will met Tuesday evening at Capitol One's headquarters in Northern Virginia.

It's the second of three debates and is hosted by the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce and the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Democrat Ralph Northam has surged to a campaign fundraising edge over Republican Ed Gillespie in the governor's race in Virginia.

The latest campaign finance reports for July and August were filed late Friday.

They show that Northam went from a $1.5 million cash-on-hand disadvantage on July 1 to a $3 million edge as of Aug. 30.

Northam's campaign now has a balance of about $5.6 million, compared to $2.6 million for Gillespie's campaign.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A group that advocates for stricter gun laws says it will pump at least $1 million into state races in Virginia.

The Washington Post reported Thursday that Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund is donating $450,000 to the campaign of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam. It also plans to spend another $250,000 on campaign mailers to support him.

The group is also giving $300,000 to Attorney General Mark Herring for his re-election bid. The Democrat is facing attacks ads from the National Rifle Association.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Candidates for Virginia governor are weighing in on what to do with the state's numerous Confederate monuments.

The issue has jumped to the forefront of the closely watched contest after a deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville over the city's plan to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Planned Parenthood is planning to spend $3 million to help Ralph Northam win this year's closely watched race for governor in Virginia.

Planned Parenthood Advocates for Virginia CEO Jennifer Allen said Thursday that the group is backing Northam because he'll work to protect "every woman's right to make the best choices for herself and her family."

The abortion-rights group's political action committee plans to knock on more than 300,000 doors and send mail to more than 400,000 people.

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HOT SPRINGS, Va. (AP) - The two major party candidates in Virginia's closely watched race for governor clashed at their first debate over President Donald Trump, health care, immigration, and social issues.

Republican Ed Gillespie said Saturday that he doesn't always support Trump's policies, but is willing to work with the president on issues important to Virginia, such as military spending.

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TYSONS, Va. (AP) - A second debate in Virginia's closely watched governor's race has been scheduled for September.

The Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce announced Thursday that Republican Ed Gillespie and Democrat Ralph Northam will participate in a debate Tuesday, Sept. 19, at Capital One headquarters in Tysons.

NBC journalist Chuck Todd, who hosts "Meet the Press," will serve as moderator.

The Northern Virginia Chamber and George Mason University Schar School of Policy and Government are hosting the event.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Republican Ed Gillespie is starting the general election campaign for governor with a more than $1.5 million cash advantage over Democrat Ralph Northam.

New campaign finance reports released late Monday show Gillespie and Northam both raised nearly $2 million in June, but Gillespie has $3.3 million in the bank compared to Northam's $1.7 million.

Northam spent heavily to defeat primary challenger Tom Perriello. Gillespie did not spend as much to win the GOP primary, but was nearly upset by underfunded insurgent candidate Corey Stewart.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Democratic Party of Virginia has a new executive director a few months out from nationally watched elections.

The party announced Thursday that former deputy director Chris Bolling is returning to run the organization.

Virginia is one of only two states electing new governors and other state-level offices this year, and the contests are being closely watched as potential referendums on President Donald Trump.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Former Virginia gubernatorial hopeful Tom Perriello is heading a new political action committee aimed at helping down-ballot Democrats.

Perriello said Wednesday he'll be running a group called Win Virginia, which will work to help Democrats running for the state House this year.

Perriello was defeated by Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam in the Democratic primary earlier this month. 

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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.

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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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