The day of the statewide Democratic primary is quickly approaching, and the candidates are spending the final campaign week working to mobilize voters in the little-publicized election.
The two Democrats running for Lieutenant Governor want to expand Medicaid, curb gun violence through a ban on assault weapons, and promote economic development. Virginia Public Radio’s Anne Marie Morgan gives us a final look at both men who hope to preside over the state Senate: Ralph Northam and Aneesh Chopra.
Ralph Northam says his six years in the state Senate make him qualified. The Norfolk doctor sponsored the restaurant smoking ban and co-wrote budget language that could enable Medicaid expansion. Some priorities are healthcare access and investing in education.
“That’s the tide that lifts all boats. And starting with Pre-K, we can either pay for it now or we can pay for it later. I can tell you that teaching at a medical school, I teach students and residents from other countries. They’re not playing for second. And so we need to make education a priority.”
Aneesh Chopra was President Obama’s Chief Technology Officer. The Arlington resident says Virginia won accolades when he was Governor Kaine’s Technology Secretary, and restoring that model and improving education are top goals.
“I hope to see a Virginia where every employer knows that there’s a workforce ready on day one to meet the jobs and industries of the future. Two, we know from research that the jobs of the future come from companies that are less than five years old. Today Virginia ranks 29th as a state in support of these start-ups. I would like Virginia to be in the top five.”
The primary is on June 11th.