Dem donor putting $2 million into Va. gubernatorial race

Dem donor putting $2 million into Va. gubernatorial race
© Getty Images - Greg Nash

The group run by environmental activist Tom Steyer on Tuesday announced that it will put $2 million into the Virginia governor’s race in an effort to help elect Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D), the Democratic nominee.

The campaign from NextGen America is part of an effort to organize young voters to elect Northam and help other Democrats to victory in the state legislature.

“Young people are overwhelmingly progressive, and they can make the difference this year in Virginia,” Steyer said in a statement. 

Steyer, a former hedge fund manager who is an outspoken environmentalist, poured over $66 million into the 2016 elections, according to a tracker by The Washington Post.

“Now more than ever, we need strong and principled state leadership to stand up to Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpConway defends herself against Hatch Act allegations amid threat of subpoena How to defuse Gulf tensions and avoid war with Iran Trump says 'stubborn child' Fed 'blew it' by not cutting rates MORE and the GOP’s divisive and hateful actions. Virginians deserve a leader like Ralph Northam who is committed to the issues young people care about: preventing climate disaster, promoting prosperity and equality, and protecting the fundamental rights of all Virginians," Steyer said.

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The organization will work with the Virginia Democratic Coordinated Campaign as it seeks to register young voters and increase youth turnout in the upcoming November elections.

"Given our current political climate, we want to make sure young people realize how much their statewide elected officials matter to protect our rights from Trump and the GOP's dangerous agenda,” Virginia Youth Organizing Director Hannah Bristol said in a statement. 

“Whether they are fighting for climate justice, racial equality, reproductive rights, or any other issue — it’s young people who are going to make a difference in this election.”

Virginia voters in November will select candidates for all 100 seats in the commonwealth’s House of Delegates, where Republicans currently hold 66 seats. 

Northam will face off against former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie on Nov. 7 in the gubernatorial election to replace Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), who is limited to one term.