Ralph Northam

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(AP)- A friendly crowd greeted Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam and his wife as they arrived at their local polling station to cast their ballots.

Northam hugged cheering voters Tuesday morning at a Norfolk community center, thanking them for their support during the closely watched race. A few dozen voters were there.

He and Republican Ed Gillespie have been locked in a heated battle to succeed Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who cannot seek a second term.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Polls have opened in Virginia as the state picks a new governor in a race that's being closely watched nationwide.

Republican Ed Gillespie and Democrat Ralph Northam have been locked in a heated race to succeed Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who cannot seek a second term. The contest is viewed by many as a referendum on President Donald Trump and a possible preview of the 2018 midterm elections. Libertarian Cliff Hyra is also running.

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - Republican Ed Gillespie and Democrat Ralph Northam both claim momentum is on their side in the final days of Virginia's high-stakes, closely watched race for governor.

Gillespie and Northam are racing across the state Monday after a weekend spent trying to rally supporters ahead of Election Day.

Allied groups and political parties on both sides are touting unprecedented get-out-the-vote efforts.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Political observers say Virginia's race for governor has become one of the state's most racially charged campaigns in recent memory.

Shaped by President Donald Trump's moves to crack down on immigration and a deadly white nationalist rally over Confederate monuments in Charlottesville, the contest's most notable feature has been its bare-knuckled rhetoric on issues involving race, made by both candidates and their allies.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The two major-party candidates in the nation's marquee gubernatorial contest are getting record amounts of cash in the final weeks of the campaign.

Campaign finance reports filed late Monday show Republican Ed Gillespie and Democrat Ralph Northam combined to raise more than $20 million between Oct. 1 and Oct. 26 in their race to become Virginia's governor.

Northam raised $11 million and ended the period with $1.7 million on hand. Gillespie raised $9.7 million and reported $1.4 million in the bank.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Tuesday is the last day Virginia voters can ask for an absentee ballot to be mailed to them.

Voters have until 5 p.m. Tuesday to request a ballot for the Nov. 7 election.

Virginia is one of only two states electing a new governor this year. Republican Ed Gillespie, Democrat Ralph Northam and Libertarian Cliff Hyra are vying to replace outgoing Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who cannot seek a second term.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Big names in both political parties are flocking to Virginia as the state's closely watched race for governor enters its final days.

Former Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. and U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris of California rallied Virginia Democrats over the weekend to support Ralph Northam and other Democrats.

Republican Ed Gillespie has an event scheduled Sunday evening with U.S. Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio and a Monday event with U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP)- Both major party candidates in Virginia's closely watched race for governor are promising to improve the state's health care system.

But Republican Ed Gillespie and Democrat Ralph Northam differ sharply on how to curb costs and increase care.

Their biggest difference is on Medicaid expansion.

Northam wants to expand the health care program for the poor to cover more low-income Virginians, with the federal government picking up most of the cost.

Gillespie opposes Medicaid expansion, saying its long-term price tag will be unsustainable.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The two major party candidates in Virginia's race for governor sharply disagree when it comes to guns.

Republican Ed Gillespie has an A rating from the National Rifle Association and pledged to "oppose any and all attempts to weaken the Second Amendment."

Democrat Ralph Northam said he favors stricter controls on gun ownership. He's backed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's group as well as by former Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was grievously wounded in a 2011 shooting.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Former President Barack Obama is returning to the campaign trail to stump for Democratic gubernatorial candidates in New Jersey and Virginia as they gear up for next month's elections.
Obama will first drop in on campaign workers in Newark, New Jersey, on Thursday for a private "canvass kickoff" for Democratic candidate Phil Murphy. He will then head to Richmond, Virginia, to rally support for Democrat Ralph Northam.
Murphy is leading in polls against New Jersey's Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno in the race to replace Gov. Chris Christie.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Former President Barack Obama is set to return to the campaign trail for the first time since he left office with a rally to help Democrat Ralph Northam in Virginia's closely watched race for governor.

The Northam campaign announced Wednesday that the lieutenant governor and Obama will appear together at an event in Richmond on Oct. 19.

Virginia is one of only two states electing new governors this year and the swing state's contest is viewed as a possible early referendum on President Donald Trump.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Former Vice President Joe Biden will visit northern Virginia this weekend to campaign with Democratic candidate for governor, Ralph Northam.

Northam's campaign announced Tuesday that Biden and Northam will host a roundtable discussion on workforce development Saturday in Reston.

Vice President Mike Pence plans to appear the same day with Republican nominee Ed Gillespie. The two are set to attend a rally in Abingdon, in southwest Virginia.

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WISE, Va. (AP) - The two major party candidates in Virginia's closely watched race for governor made pointed attacks at each other at their final debate ahead of Election Day next month.

Republican Ed Gillespie and Democrat Ralph Northam squared off Monday at the University of Virginia at Wise in the state's far southwest. The region, hit hard by a decline in coal mining, strongly backed Donald Trump in last year's presidential election.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Vice President Mike Pence will be campaigning in southwest Virginia this week with Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie. 

Gillespie spokesman David Abrams says Pence and Gillespie will appear at a rally Saturday in Abingdon. It will be Pence's first campaign event for Gillespie, a former Republican National Committee chairman who is facing Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam has canceled several campaign events following the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas.

The events were expected to feature former Democratic congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who has pushed for stronger gun control after she survived a gunshot wound to the head in 2011. Giffords and her husband were planning to praise Northam for supporting "responsible gun violence prevention policies" at a series of roundtable discussions in northern Virginia.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The candidates in Virginia's closely watched race for governor all promise to change the state's tax code.

Republican Ed Gillespie is promising an across-the-board cut on income taxes, Democrat Ralph Northam vows to cut grocery sales taxes for the poor, and Libertarian Cliff Hyra wants to ban some local business taxes.

But promising tax reform is a lot easier than enacting it once elected. Competing special interests and political concerns have hampered past efforts, and past governors have not always lived up to their campaign promises.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is helping raise money for the Democratic candidate in Virginia's closely watched race for governor.

An invitation obtained by The Associated Press says Clinton is the featured guest at a fundraiser for Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam in New York on Oct. 4.

Northam is facing Republican Ed Gillespie in one of only two off-year gubernatorial contests in November. The swing-state contest is viewed as a possible referendum on President Donald Trump's first year in office.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A group that mobilized black voters for Hillary Clinton plans spend more than $1 million in Virginia ahead of November's closely watched governor's race.

The Washington Post reported Thursday that the Black Progressive Action Coalition plans to spend $600,000 on voter education. An affiliated political action committee plans to spend $500,000 on mailers and digital ads.

The money will be spent on behalf of Democrats on the statewide ticket. That includes gubernatorial nominee Ralph Northam.

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AP)- The two major party candidates in Virginia's closely watched race for governor argued over taxes, President Donald Trump and what the state should do with its numerous Confederate statues.

Republican Ed Gillespie said at a debate in Northern Virginia on Tuesday that he's the only candidate with a sense of urgency and the right policies, which include cutting taxes to improve the state's economy, which he said is floundering.

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MCLEAN, Va. (AP) - The two major party candidates running to be the next governor of Virginia are set to square off at the their second debate.

Republican Ed Gillespie and Democrat Ralph Northam will met Tuesday evening at Capitol One's headquarters in Northern Virginia.

It's the second of three debates and is hosted by the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce and the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Democrat Ralph Northam has surged to a campaign fundraising edge over Republican Ed Gillespie in the governor's race in Virginia.

The latest campaign finance reports for July and August were filed late Friday.

They show that Northam went from a $1.5 million cash-on-hand disadvantage on July 1 to a $3 million edge as of Aug. 30.

Northam's campaign now has a balance of about $5.6 million, compared to $2.6 million for Gillespie's campaign.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A group that advocates for stricter gun laws says it will pump at least $1 million into state races in Virginia.

The Washington Post reported Thursday that Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund is donating $450,000 to the campaign of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam. It also plans to spend another $250,000 on campaign mailers to support him.

The group is also giving $300,000 to Attorney General Mark Herring for his re-election bid. The Democrat is facing attacks ads from the National Rifle Association.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Candidates for Virginia governor are weighing in on what to do with the state's numerous Confederate monuments.

The issue has jumped to the forefront of the closely watched contest after a deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville over the city's plan to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Planned Parenthood is planning to spend $3 million to help Ralph Northam win this year's closely watched race for governor in Virginia.

Planned Parenthood Advocates for Virginia CEO Jennifer Allen said Thursday that the group is backing Northam because he'll work to protect "every woman's right to make the best choices for herself and her family."

The abortion-rights group's political action committee plans to knock on more than 300,000 doors and send mail to more than 400,000 people.

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HOT SPRINGS, Va. (AP) - The two major party candidates in Virginia's closely watched race for governor clashed at their first debate over President Donald Trump, health care, immigration, and social issues.

Republican Ed Gillespie said Saturday that he doesn't always support Trump's policies, but is willing to work with the president on issues important to Virginia, such as military spending.

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TYSONS, Va. (AP) - A second debate in Virginia's closely watched governor's race has been scheduled for September.

The Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce announced Thursday that Republican Ed Gillespie and Democrat Ralph Northam will participate in a debate Tuesday, Sept. 19, at Capital One headquarters in Tysons.

NBC journalist Chuck Todd, who hosts "Meet the Press," will serve as moderator.

The Northern Virginia Chamber and George Mason University Schar School of Policy and Government are hosting the event.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Republican Ed Gillespie is starting the general election campaign for governor with a more than $1.5 million cash advantage over Democrat Ralph Northam.

New campaign finance reports released late Monday show Gillespie and Northam both raised nearly $2 million in June, but Gillespie has $3.3 million in the bank compared to Northam's $1.7 million.

Northam spent heavily to defeat primary challenger Tom Perriello. Gillespie did not spend as much to win the GOP primary, but was nearly upset by underfunded insurgent candidate Corey Stewart.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Democratic Party of Virginia has a new executive director a few months out from nationally watched elections.

The party announced Thursday that former deputy director Chris Bolling is returning to run the organization.

Virginia is one of only two states electing new governors and other state-level offices this year, and the contests are being closely watched as potential referendums on President Donald Trump.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Former Virginia gubernatorial hopeful Tom Perriello is heading a new political action committee aimed at helping down-ballot Democrats.

Perriello said Wednesday he'll be running a group called Win Virginia, which will work to help Democrats running for the state House this year.

Perriello was defeated by Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam in the Democratic primary earlier this month. 

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Democrats are promising party unity after a hotly contested primary battle for governor.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam and former U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello urged Democrats to work together in this year's general election.

Their comments came Saturday evening at the party's annual Jefferson-Jackson fundraising dinner.

Northam defeated Perriello last week in a primary contest. Perriello said Saturday he "fully" endorses Northam.

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