GOP chairwoman rallies volunteers ahead of Va. governor’s election

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Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel rallied a group of door-knockers in Arlington on Monday, seeking to give her troops a shot in the arm as they canvased Northern Virginia ahead of Tuesday’s pivotal gubernatorial election. 

The chairwoman briefly addressed the mix of paid staff and volunteers at the party’s local field office before heading out to knock on doors. During her brief remarks, she touted Republican candidate Ed Gillespie, a former chairman of the RNC himself, while knocking Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam for his recent comments on sanctuary cities, which have frustrated some of his liberal supporters.


“Talk about Ed Gillespie and what he stands for and what he’s going to do for the Commonwealth of Virginia. He’s talking about cutting taxes, he’s talking about bringing jobs, he’s talking about making a better life for everyone here in the commonwealth,” she told supporters.

“And we know what Ralph Northam stands for — I don’t think he even knows what he stands for. After this election, I’d like to send him away so he can figure out where he stands on certain issues that he still hasn’t been able to figure out during this campaign.”

While Northam is considered a slight favorite, he’s been on the defensive in recent days after surprising Democrats with an announcement that he’d sign a bill to ban sanctuary cities if one came to his desk.

That sparked criticism among some progressives, who accused him of cowing to pressure from the right and neglecting base voters.

McDaniel’s appearance underscores the stakes of Tuesday’s gubernatorial election, by far the most competitive election of 2017.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez traveled around the state this weekend to boost Northam as Democrats hope that Virginia can give them their first major win since President Trump’s inauguration and boost momentum heading into the 2018 midterm elections.

While Northern Virginia is a clear Democratic stronghold — Democrats ran up the margins in Fairfax County en route to a 2013 gubernatorial victory and to help Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton take the state last November — McDaniel said that volunteers are seeing “a huge uptick in energy” during the race’s closing days.

“That’s really important for us, especially in Northern Virginia. We want to have a strong turnout here and that’s going to make a difference,” she said.

Tags 2017 elections Hillary Clinton RNC Tom Perez Virginia governor's race

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