CANDIDATES RECEIVE IMPORTANT LAST-MINUTE ENDORSEMENTS
By Alexander Shedd, Assistant News Editor
As the Virginia gubernatorial race enters its final week, both candidates received important endorsements from some of the country’s biggest political names.
Republican candidate Ed Gillespie most recently received a series of supportive comments from President Donald Trump, who said on Twitter that Gillespie would be “strong on crime,” and “might even save our great statues/heritage” as governor, referring to the controversy over the Confederate statues in Charlottesville and Richmond.
At the same time, Trump called Democratic candidate Ralph Northam “VERY weak on crime,” and claimed that he “doesn’t even show up to work.”
When asked if an endorsement would affect their vote, four out of five Mason students claimed that it would not influence their choice. However, senior Gerald Jackson said he would consider the endorsements because “the influence of endorsements is very important.”
Candidates often strive for endorsements because of the influence carried by major politicians. The endorsement from Trump boosted Gillespie in the polls, putting him eight points ahead of Northam in one poll conducted by Hampton University.
However, other recent polls conducted during the same period by Christopher Newport University and Fox News show that Northam still has a seven point lead over Gillespie.
Gillespie also previously received endorsements from major conservative politicians such as former President George H. W. Bush, Senator Marco Rubio, and Senator Ted Cruz.
Ralph Northam has also received a major endorsement recently from President Barack Obama.
Obama began campaigning in earnest for Northam earlier this October and followed his campaign around the state, stumping for him at campaign rallies. Northam also received endorsements from a number of major unions and charity campaigns, including the Virginia AFL-CIO, the Virginia Professional Firefighters’ Union, and the Human Rights Campaign.
Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 7.
Illustration by Mary Jane DeCarlo