Governor Ralph Northam endorsed Hala Ayala’s campaign for lieutenant governor on Monday. Northam is by far the most popular Democrat in Virginia according to internal polling from several statewide campaigns. This means that with the majority of Democratic voters still undecided in the lieutenant governor’s race, Northam’s endorsement could have a significant impact.

Some of the other candidates in the race responded shortly after the announcement was made Monday:

Sean Perryman

“I jumped into the race for Lt. Governor because we need leadership in Richmond who can meet this moment, not because I think I deserve a promotion or because I wanted a stepping stone to a higher office. I spent years as an activist on the ground, successfully fighting for change in my community without the power of an elected office. But I was moved to run because our people are hurting and our elected officials are failing to rise to the occasion. Every week, we see another Black person brutalized or shot by police. We see people struggling to get out of this pandemic alive. We see workers go underpaid and underprotected. We see families being evicted from their homes. We see communities on fire, frozen over, or flooding due to the climate emergency. And all the while, we see those at the top of the system become more and more powerful. I’m running for Lt. Governor because I’m the only candidate in this race who will meet all of these crises with truly progressive ideas that redefine what is possible in our politics and return our government and economy to the people.”

“My decision to run can be summed up by opposition to one phrase: ‘The Virginia Way.’ That’s what we call the operating status quo for both parties in Virginia, where the establishment sticks together and ensures nobody rocks the boat. Agendas are mostly decided by what polls well and protects those in power. Progress can no doubt be made, but only if it is made with the approval of special interests like big businesses and Dominion energy. I have no doubt that the endorsements made today are a continuation of this Virginia Way.”

“I have great respect for Governor Northam and the Democratic leaders, but this heavy-handed and coordinated effort to influence this election is reminiscent of the Byrd Machine and their attempts to control the outcomes of our elections. I cannot imagine that it is coincidence that the party leadership is coming out in force against progressive candidates. The event later today to announce this endorsement will resemble a coronation. Nevertheless, our democratic process continues and we hope to bring our transformative ideas to the voters because we believe that this party is ready for a new set of leaders.”

“Our campaign has a very clear path to victory. It’s the voters who will decide this race, not party bosses. We have more endorsements than any other campaign in both Fairfax County and Hampton Roads, crucial strongholds of Democratic primary voters. We have an extensive ground game and volunteer operation in every corner of the Commonwealth. We have an unmatched, organic digital presence that we will leverage for every vote we can. And most importantly, we have a substantive message that confronts business as usual instead of coddling it.”

“With a Democratic trifecta in Richmond, we shouldn’t be limiting ourselves. Virginians deserve someone among the next crop of statewide elected officials who will work with leadership on our shared values while standing up and speaking out when the Virginia Way rears its head at the expense of Black, Brown, and indigeneous people, working people, LGBTQ+ people, and people who are disabled. That’s the kind of progressive Lt. Governor I will be. Despite this effort to hand-select the candidate for Lt. Governor, I look forward to working with Democratic leadership should I become the nominee.”

Andria McClellan

“I’m running to expand access to opportunity, address Virginia’s historic inequities, and break down barriers. I bring 30 years of leadership experience in the private sector, non-profit arena and local government – representing the largest constituency of any Lieutenant Governor candidate – and I will be a strong voice for cities, counties and towns. As the only candidate in this race from Hampton Roads, the state’s second largest voting bloc, I provide a much needed perspective to Richmond. I am ready to put my experience and knowledge to work on day one to provide a pathway to opportunity for all Virginians.”

Sam Rasoul

“Our campaign is leading the way with over 100 endorsements from elected officials and grassroots leaders, with bold policies like the Marshall Plan for Moms to help Virginians, and in fundraising – despite not taking a single dollar in corporate or PAC money – thanks to the thousands of individual contributors excited about our historic run.”

By vascope