Richmond, Va. — Tonight, Democratic Party of Virginia Chairwoman Susan Swecker released the following statement on Ralph Northam’s resounding victory in the second gubernatorial debate:
“Tonight was Ralph Northam’s night. Ralph won tonight’s debate because he was the only candidate onstage with a plan to make sure every Virginian has access to a high-quality education, affordable health care, and a good-paying job.
“This was Gillespie’s last chance to revive his flagging campaign and break through with Virginians — and he blew it. The contrast between the two candidates couldn’t be starker. As an Army doctor and pediatric neurologist, Ralph’s entire life has been committed to public service. Ed Gillespie has spent decades mired in the D.C. swamp fighting for predatory student loan companies, Enron, and corporations who lay off Virginian workers. And he refuses to stand up for Virginians against Donald Trump, Corey Stewart or the extremists in his own party.
"Over the past four years, the McAuliffe Northam administration has created nearly 210,000 jobs, attracted more than $16.5 billion in capital investment, and boasted the lowest unemployment rate since 2008. Meanwhile, Ed Gillespie pocketed millions of dollars helping big corporations with mergers and other initiatives that resulted in laying off thousands of Virginians while they were Gillespie’s client.
“Tonight was a turning point in the race. For months, Gillespie has struggled to consolidate his own base and break through with independent voters. If Gillespie was hoping to turn around his failing campaign tonight, then he’ll be sorely disappointed. Unable to defend his years in Washington, D.C., unwilling to cut his ties with the big corporations and side with the people of Virginia, and unlikely to ever sever his allegiance to Donald Trump or his unfeasible tax plan, Gillespie looked like a candidate in crisis.
“For Democrats, the wind is at our backs. With Ralph at the top of the ticket, Democrats are energized, enthusiastic and ready to work their hearts out to keep Virginia blue this November.”