Virginia Governor Race Gets Hot as Obama, Bush Face Off

Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Republicans and Democrats raised the stakes for the Virginia governor races, as former President George W. Bush will campaign for Republican candidate Ed Gillespie and former President Barack Obama will stump for Democrat Ralph Northam.

Obama announced on Wednesday that he will appear at an October 19 rally in Richmond, Virginia to discuss “The need for the next governor to create economic opportunity for all Virginians – no matter who are you are or where you’re from. President Obama will encourage Virginians to vote for Ralph and the Democratic ticket on November 7.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden also announced that he will appear at a workforce roundtable for Northam this Saturday.

Obama’s endorsement of Ralph Northam stands in stark contrast to President Donald Trump, who endorsed Republican candidate Ed Gillespie in a tweet last week. Trump said, “Ralph Northam, who is running for Governor of Virginia, is fighting for the violent MS-13 killer gangs & sanctuary cities. Vote Ed Gillespie!”

Former President George W. Bush will headline fundraisers for Gillespie in Richmond and Alexandria on October 16. Gillespie was a top White House aide to President Bush. Before that Gillespie served as the chairman of the Republican National Committee from 2003 to 2005.

Vice President Mike Pence will appear at a rally for Gillespie this Saturday.

During the third and final gubernatorial debate, Northam refused to say whether he would sign legislation that would ban sanctuary cities. Instead, Northam argued that legislation that would ban sanctuary cities serves as a political ploy rather than a serious attempt to keep Virginians safe.

“This piece of legislation that was nothing more than a political ploy are doing nothing more than promoting fear mongering, hatred and bigotry,” Northam said.

Gillespie fired back at Northam’s claim that he does not support sanctuary cities. Gillespie charged, “But you refuse to say in that instance that if one were established you would ban them, even in retrospect in response, and that’s very telling to me.”

Ralph Northam and Ed Gillespie remain virtually tied in the polls. A new poll from Emerson College put Gillespie and Northam in a statistical tie.


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