Democratic gubernatorial candidate touts progressive support in Virginia

Virginia Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat seeking a promotion this year, is out with a new ad highlighting his support from top progressive groups he seeks to compare his progressive chops with his rival’s just one week before the gubernatorial primaries.

The spot touts endorsements from Democratic heavy hitters including the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, before giving Northam a chance to talk right to the camera. 

“Making progress means taking on tough fights, and as governor, I won’t let Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE stand in our way,” he says. 

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The spot is meant to remind voters of some of the more progressive parts of Northam’s background — the gun violence prevention coalition cited his work for a universal background check bill while in the state Senate, as well as his support for the victims of the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007, as reasons for its endorsement. 

And the NARAL endorsement, included in the ad, highlights Northam’s opposition to a Republican state law that would have mandated ultrasounds ahead of abortions. 

It’s a clear nod to the base for Northam, who has long been seen as the heir to the gubernatorial mansion thanks to powerful endorsements from every major Virginia Democratic lawmaker. 

He also has a cash advantage, leading former Democratic Rep. Tom Perriello by about $500,000 in cash on hand, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. 

Perriello exploded onto the scene by touting his own progressive chops, including endorsements from Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names MORE (D-Mass.) and Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.), as well as from top aides to former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaHarris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Five ways America would take a hard left under Joe Biden Valerie Jarrett: ‘Democracy depends upon having law enforcement’ MORE. Those high-profile endorsements have boosted his campaign and polling shows the two are neck and neck down the stretch. 

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Perriello released a final-week ad on Tuesday that includes Warren.

–This article was updated on June 7 to clarify that aides to former President Obama endorsed Perriello.