Virginia-unlike New Jersey, a reliably blue state which will elect a new governor on the same day, November 8th-is big, competitive and responsive to national politics, especially in the northern part of the state, bordering Washington, DC, where nearly half of primary voters live.
"The groups we are surging with - young voters, voters of color and rural voters - are groups that don't normally vote for Democrats in a state election", Perriello said over a 4:45 a.m. breakfast at a Waynesboro Waffle House where a dozen anti-gas pipeline activists came out to meet him.
Three Republicans are seeking their party's nomination.
For the Republicans, Gillespie was polling ahead of Stewart, 44 percent to 42 percent around 8 p.m., while state Sen.
Here's a look at the issues and priorities that each candidate have articulated during the campaign.
GONYEA: Northam is Virginia's lieutenant governor. Both support a higher minimum wage, free community college, decriminalizing marijuana and expanded pre-K. (Northam now calls it a "right.") Perriello received an "A"-rating from the NRA as a congressman and voted for the anti-abortion "Stupak amendment" to the Affordable Care Act". (Perriello has since apologized for the vote.) His record is strongly pro-gun, and he once boasted of his "A" rating from the National Rifle Association.
"Politicians have to be straightforward", Northam said. She said she was leaning toward voting for Northam in the Democratic primary but liked what she heard from Perriello at his town hall last week in Leesburg. Dominion has always been a major donor to both Republicans and Democrats, and in 2017, the company has donated to both Northam and Gillespie's campaigns. Former Rep. Tom Perriello has staged an insurgent campaign that has captured national attention.
Last year, Hillary Clinton, with the backing of the Democratic establishment, battled Bernie Sanders, the darling of the party's left wing, for the presidential nomination.
The Virginia governor's race is one of a handful of key races across the nation taking place in 2017.
Northam, 57, a pediatric neurologist and former Army physician from Virginia's conservative eastern shore, voted twice for Republican President George W. Bush, something he attributes to being "under-informed" before entering politics.
In terms of tax rates, Gillespie believes that Virginia's tax plan is antiquated - Virginia's income tax has not been cut since 1972.
Perriello has been said to be running against "the establishment", and when it comes to Virginia's Democratic establishment, that's true. It's a speech from the President, in which he said In America, we don't worship government.
Stewart, a former Trump campaign chairman, also draws frequently from Trump's repertoire: giving opponents catchy nicknames ("Establishment Ed" for Gillespie) and promising to "crack down" on illegal immigration and "take back Virginia". He's now running a similar blow-up-the-system campaign.
REEVES: "See I view politics like mold".
Stewart has championed the Confederacy monuments and statues and has attacked Gillespie for not being pro-Trump enough. Glenn R. Davis Jr. of Virginia Beach. Although we traditionally have endorsed Republicans for president (2016 proved a notable exception when we picked Libertarian Gary Johnson, a choice we do not regret) and for statewide offices, we are not a party organ.