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Former Democratic rep to run for Virginia governor: report

Former Democratic rep to run for Virginia governor: report
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Former Virginia Rep. Tom Perriello (D) will run for governor of the state in what could be one of the highest-profile elections of 2017, The New York Times reports

Perriello, who served in the House from 2009 to 2011 and is a friend of President Obama, could potentially end up challenging Lt. Gov. Ralph S. Northam, the party's favored candidate, in the Democratic primary. 

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According to the Times, outgoing Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) hoped to clear the field for Northam so he would have a head start in fundraising and organization over Republicans vying for their party's nomination. 

Perriello is more progressive, while Northam is more of a moderate Democrat. 

On the Republican side, former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie remains the front-runner for the nomination. 

But he faces challenges from Corey Stewart, who served as President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpKey takeaways from the Arizona Senate debate Major Hollywood talent firm considering rejecting Saudi investment money: report Mattis says he thought 'nothing at all' about Trump saying he may leave administration MORE's campaign chairman in Virginia, and state Sen. Frank Wagner.