Northam, Herring Emerge Victorious in Low-Turnout Virginia Democratic Primary | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Northam, Herring Emerge Victorious in Low-Turnout Virginia Democratic Primary

Play associated audio
Turnout was low in Tuesday's Virginia Democratic primary, with only 140,000 people casting ballots statewide.
WAMU/Michael Pope
Turnout was low in Tuesday's Virginia Democratic primary, with only 140,000 people casting ballots statewide.

In Virginia, the statewide Democratic ticket is now set for the general election coming up in November.

State Senator Ralph Northam of Norfolk will be the Democratic candidate to run for lieutenant governor against Republican E.W. Jackson. And state Senator Mark Herring of Loudoun will be the candidate to run against state Senator Mark Obenshain of Harrisonburg for attorney general. Both Northam and Herring were challenged by first-time candidates.

"The fact that they were already elected state officials in a low-turnout election gave them name recognition and gave them a base that served their interests, " said Congressman Gerry Connolly.

Northam beat out first-time candidate Aneesh Chopra of Arlington, who served as chief technology officer for President Barack Obama, taking 54 percent of the 140,000 ballots cast. Herring won against first-time candidate Justin Fairfax of Fairfax County, a former federal prosecutor, with 51 percent of the vote. For many Democrats, the idea of having a slate of first-time candidates was an opportunity to move the party in a new direction.

"We had a chance to run a fantastic ticket with Terry McAuliffe and Aneesh Chopra and Justin Fairfax, and instead we are going to have this monochromatic slate again and I'm really disgusted," said Honorah Price, a Democratic precinct captain in Park Lane in Arlington

Dave Stroup, the digital director for the Chopra campaign, admits that the results were disappointing but says he still has hope for the future. "I'm optimistic that candidate like Aneesh and Justin can continue to be successful in the future with the lessons learned, you know. First time candidates, it's a hard thing."

Unlike Democrats, Republicans chose to select their candidates in a convention rather than a statewide primary. The top of the ticket will pit former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe against Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli in a race that will be the only competitive gubernatorial contest in the country.


Not My Job: Travel Guru Rick Steves Gets Quizzed On Steve Ricks

Since we specialize in asking people things they know nothing about, we've decided to ask Rick Steves three questions about the people out there in the world who have his name, but reversed.

Syrup Induces Pumpkin-Spiced Fever Dreams

Hugh Merwin, an editor at Grub Street, bought a 63-ounce jug of pumpkin spice syrup and put it in just about everything he ate for four days. As he tells NPR's Scott Simon, it did not go well.

Texas Gubernatorial Candidates Go The Border To Court Voters

Republicans have won every statewide office in Texas for 20 years, but the growing Hispanic population tends to vote Democrat, and the GOP's survival may depend on recruiting Hispanic supporters.

Tech Week: Smartphone Privacy, Cyberstalking, Alibaba's Big Debut

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba makes the biggest debut on the NYSE ever. The details, and the other tech stories that piqued our interest, are in this week's roundup.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.