Virginia Dems Make Surprise Pick for Lt Gov

Wednesday, 12 Jun 2013 04:04 PM

By John Gizzi

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Virginia Democratic primary voters have nominated state Sen. Ralph Northam for lieutenant governor.

While onetime White House technology chief Aneesh Chopra had been considered the favorite, Northam, a U.S. Army veteran and physician, rolled up 52 percent of the vote.

Northam will now face Bishop E.W. Jackson, a minister whose controversial statements on issues from abortion to yoga have made headlines.

Jackson is now the lone nonwhite nominee for any of the three statewide offices on the fall ballot. Many Democrats had privately hoped that Chopra would be their candidate and become the first Indian American to be a major party nominee in the Old Dominion State.

For all the controversy swirling around Jackson, there is no evidence yet that it has affected Republican gubernatorial nominee Ken Cuccinelli. Virginia is one of the few states in which candidates for governor and lieutenant governor run separately rather than as a ticket.

A just-completed Rasmussen Poll shows Democratic nominee Terry McAuliffe edging state Attorney General Cuccinelli by a margin of 44 percent to 41 percent among likely voters statewide.

John Gizzi is chief political correspondent and White House correspondent for Newsmax.

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