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Meet the VA Gubernatorial Candidate Who's Feeling the Bern

by Lynn Marie Morski, published

Bernie Sanders took time out of his busy schedule of trying to bring a single-payer healthcare bill to the Senate to endorse a candidate for governor of Virginia. Earlier this week, Sanders endorsed former congressman Tom Perriello in the governor’s race.

The senator tweeted or retweeted about Perriello four times in the past three days, and he’s joining Perriello on the campaign trail. Sanders touts Perriello’s support for a $15 minimum wage and two years of free community college.

Periello’s opponent in the Democratic primary is Lt. Gov Ralph Northam, who has the support of the majority of Democrats in Virginia. Northam has challenged Periello’s credentials as a progressive based on some of his more conservative votes while in Congress - namely his support for an amendment to the Affordable Care Act that would have kept public subsidies from insurers who paid for abortions.

Periello had also been part of a bipartisan effort that allowed drilling for oil off the coast of Virginia and had been endorsed by the National Rifle Association. Since announcing his candidacy, he has changed his stance on all three issues.

Currently polls show Northam and Periello in a tie. Since Bernie Sanders lost the Virginia primary to Hillary Clinton by nearly 30 points, it will be interesting to see if an endorsement from the senator will have an effect on the outcome of the race.

Photo Credit: Tom Perriello / Facebook

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