Progressive Democrats are outraged after Virginia Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam announced Wednesday that he would sign legislation outlawing sanctuary cities. They think his announcement could cost him the race.
The progressive group Democracy for America (DFA) announced that it would pull “direct aid” for Northam’s campaign after the lieutenant governor made his sanctuary city comments, even though the group never formally endorsed his candidacy, the Hill reports.
DFA accused Northam of running a “racist” campaign and giving preference to swing voters over his base.
“The reason why we’re standing up now is because we’ve been seeing this pattern of strategy by the Northam campaign to alienate the base, while trying to go over these mythological, swing-able Republican voters,” said Charles Chamberlain, DFA’s executive director.
Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean (D), DFA’s former leader, stated that Northam’s statement was “destructive and foolish.”
Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie took a jab at Northam after he flip-flopped on his position regarding sanctuary cities Wednesday, stating that he “sincerely hopes” Northam’s “change of heart is real” but adding that he is unsure of the lieutenant governor’s real stance on the issue.
The latest poll on the Virginia governor’s race shows that Gillespie is ahead of Northam by three points, although the race between them remains tight.