Historic Triangle picks Gillespie, Northam in gubernatorial primary

rbrauchle@tidewaterreview.com

Wednesday morning update: 

Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam won the Democratic nomination for governor in Tuesday's primary election, fending off a surprising challenge from former congressman Tom Perriello and setting up a November competition with Republican nominee Ed Gillespie, who barely edged out President Donald Trump's one-time Virginia campaign manager, Corey Stewart.

Unofficial results from the state Department of Elections in the Democratic primary, with all districts reporting, were Northam, 303,429 (55.9 percent); Perriello, 239,383 (44.1 percent).

Unofficial results from the GOP primary, with all districts reporting, were Gillespie, 160,039 (43.7 percent); Stewart, 155,716 (42.5 percent); and Virginia Beach state Sen. Frank Wagner, 50,345 (13.7 percent).

Previous: 

The Historic Triangle sided with the rest of Virginia on Tuesday, picking Democrat Ralph Northam and trending with Republican Ed Gillespie as candidates for November's race for governor.

While Northam defeated former one-term congressman Tom Perriello in the Democratic primary, Gillespie had a slight edge on Corey Stewart and Frank Wagner on the Republican ballot as of deadline.

James City and York counties and Williamsburg followed the statewide mold, picking the state's current lieutenant governor in Northam and leaning toward former Republican National Committee chairman in Gillespie, according to unofficial results from the Virginia Board of Elections.

While Northam has been ever present in Virginia's Democratic politics for a decade, Gillespie remained behind the scenes in Republican politics for close to 20 years before giving U.S. Sen. Mark Warner a close race in 2014.

In the primaries for lieutenant governor, the Historic Triangle chose Democrat Justin Fairfax while the Republican ballot remained much closer, with Jill Vogel and Bryce Reeves within 110 votes of each other late Tuesday.

Statewide, the race between Reeves and Vogel was also within 2 percentage points at the Virginia Gazette's deadline.

By late Tuesday, statewide tallies showed Northam beat Perriello handily. Several political watchdogs called the race for Northam less than a hour after the polls closed. Gillespie's lead over Stewart, however remained closer late into the night.

June primaries do not typically bring out the volume of voters associated with November elections, although Tuesday proved to be popular.

In James City County, voters came out in droves.

At 9 a.m. Tuesday, 3 percent had cast ballots, the same overall voter turnout for the Democratic primary four years ago, James City voter registrar Dianna Moorman said. By 3 p.m. nearly 14 percent, or 7,681 people, had voted.

By 4 p.m., Williamsburg's two polling precincts had seen 14 percent of its voters cast ballots.

"That is rivaling the presidential primary, the numbers are very high," Moorman said. "I'm glad the voters are actually coming out to the polls on a primary, that's just as important as a November election."

In Virginia, voters can vote in either gubernatorial primary, regardless of party affiliation. In some states, voters can only cast ballots for races in which they are registered.

The campaigns for both the governor's and lieutenant governor's race provided plenty of drama for voters to follow this spring: Stewart appeared at a torch-lit rally in Charlottesville to protest the removal of Confederate monuments; Glenn Davis has lived out of his RV for much of the campaign to defray the cost of hotel stays; and Reeves accused Vogel of sending an email under a fake name to spread false rumors that he was having an affair.

Check vagazette.com on Wednesday for the latest results from the primaries.

Staff writer Amanda Williams contributed to this report.

Brauchle can be reached by phone at 757-846-4361.

Primary unofficial results

James City County/York County/Williamsburg/Historic Triangle/statewide total

Governor

Republican

Ed Gillespie: 3,023/1,957/309/5,289/159,600

Corey Stewart: 1,912/1,474/178/3,564/155,255

Frank Wagner: 976/1,277/92/2,345/50,155

Democrat

Ralph Northam: 4,232/2,616/868/7,716/303,051

Tom Perriello: 1,947/1,367/577/3,889/239,028

Lieutenant Governor

Republican

Bryce Reeves: 2,494/1,947/214/4,655/142,141

Glenn Davis Jr.: 834/832/76/1,742/61,157

Jill Vogel: 2,442/1,809/270/4,521/151,849

Democrat

Justin Fairfax: 3,046/1,985/726/5,757/252,319

Gene Rossi: 576/420/102/1,098/60,008

Susan Platt: 2,184/1,390/549/4,123/201,154

Source: Virginia Department of Elections

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