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Virginia’s Democratic Sweep

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Kristina Dawkins, Staff Writer

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The groundbreaking election in Virginia would come to show the present feelings of America. On November 7, 2017, voters would flee their homes to vote for the candidate they believed would make the change they all wanted and hoped for. Democrat and Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam, would win the spot as Governor for Virginia against his opponents Ed Gillespie, a Republican, and patent attorney Cliff Hyra; a Libertarian.

The people of Virginia wanted to send a message, and that’s exactly what they did. Ed Gillespie and Ralph Northam would participate in an election that was one of great importance, and also controversy. Gillespie made the effort to run without Trump’s controversial image, as the president didn’t campaign alongside him. It was difficult for Gillespie to separate himself from Trump when his rhetoric and support on issues such as keeping up Confederate statues, the 2nd Amendment, and even his opposition to NFL players kneeling during the national anthem, all connected to those of Donald Trump. Even so, Northam’s campaign wasn’t without falter. Democracy for America, an influential national progressive group, denounced Northam’s campaign for being “gutless” and also “racist,” after his comments saying that he would sign a bill banning sanctuary cities.

In the end, Ralph Northam was able to take advantage of the Gillespie/Trump connection and successfully bait his opponent into 2nd place.

Senior, Ashlie Dawkins, believes that the election “sheds light on how the country truly feels about Trump and his rhetoric. It was a rebellion against the system.”

Even so, Virginia has always been a roller coaster of representation when it comes to party winners. In the 1990’s, it was a red state, also known as Republican, when former Democratic president Bill Clinton was in power. When Barack Obama became president in the 2000’s, there was a shift from red to blue, from Republican to Democrat, putting governors such as Tim Kaine, Hilary Clinton’s Vice President choice, into the position. Now, with one of the most controversial and unpopular presidents America has seen, voters are beginning to understand that their right to vote can also be used as a voice against unwanted leadership within our democracy.

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Virginia’s Democratic Sweep