Former President Barack Obama endorsed Viriginia’s former governor and current gubernatorial candidate, Terry McAuliffe. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

By Micha Green
AFRO D.C. and Digital Content Editor
mgreen@afro.com

This reporter can attest to the highly contentious nature of the Virginia gubernatorial, lieutenant governor and state legislature races. Day and night, my favorite news channels play the same commercials for the gubernatorial and lieutenant governor candidates touting their achievements and slandering their opponents.  The commercials have gotten so old I can say the words with the voiceover.  However, Monday morning (Oct. 25), I heard the refreshing sound of a familiar voice with a new message- it was former President Barack Obama’s commercial endorsing former Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe. 

Obama announced his support for McAuliffe, who is running a close race against Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin, at a rally in Richmond over the weekend.

“Virginians delivered for me twice, and now I’m asking them to do it again by electing Terry McAuiliffe as their next governor.  Every bit of progress in Virginia is at stake in this election- and there’s no time to waste.  Make a plan to vote early.”

McAulliffe and Youngkin are tied with both receiving 46 percent support of registered voters and the election is on Nov. 2.

History will be made no matter who wins lieutenant governor race the second day of November- as either Republican Winsome Sears, a Black woman, or Democrat Hala Ayala, who identifies as Afro-Latina, will become the first woman lieutenant governor of the state of Virginia.

The race for lieutenant governor is also very close.  On Oct. 8, according to a poll from Christopher Newport University Wason Center for Civic Leadership, Ayala led 48 percent to Sears’ 44 percent. 

State legislature candidates are also a major part of the Virginia election on Nov. 2.  Former President Obama also expressed support for the 21 Democrats in the State Legislature race- including delegates and the position of Speaker of the House.

‘Some of the most important changes often start in state legislatures.  That’s why I’m proud to support these candidates for the Virginia state legislature.  I hope you’ll join me and the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee in giving them your support.”

Obama’s Virginia State Legislature endorsement list includes Eileen Filler-Corn as Speaker of the House and for Delegates:  Lashresce Aird, Alex Askew, Joshua Cole, Kelly Fowler, Debra Gardner, Wendy Gooditis, Nancy Guy, Elizabeth Guzman, Dan Helmer, Candi King, Michelle Maldonado, Kim Melnyk, Martha Mugler, Mike Mullin, Finale Norton, Danica Roem, Briana Sewell, Shelly Simonds, Schuyler VanValkenburg and Rodney Willet.

Early voting started in Virginia on Sept. 17 and will continue until Oct. 30.  On Election Day, Nov. 2, the polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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Micha Green

AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor