Newly minted Democratic ticket unites on job creation

Contrasts difference with Republican ticket

Marlene Jones | 6/12/2013, 1:47 p.m.
The newly-elected Democratic ticket of Terry McAuliffe, Ralph Northam, and Mark Herring appeared at Richmond's Hippodrome Theater for a Democratic ...
Terry McAuliffe, seen here with first lady, Michelle Obama, heads the Democratic ticket.

— The newly-elected Democratic ticket of Terry McAuliffe, Ralph Northam, and Mark Herring appeared at Richmond's Hippodrome Theater for a Democratic Party of Virginia "Unity Breakfast" on Wednesday morning following Tuesday's Democratic primary. Attendees heard from all three candidates on the ticket, who rallied Virginia Democrats to work as a united front toward victory in November and stressed how they are focused on driving an agenda of job creation and economic growth.

"This mainstream ticket focuses on the issues that matter to Virginians - reducing transportation gridlock, improving education, and fostering economic development," said candidate for governor, Terry McAuliffe.

He stressed that while the Democratic ticket would work across the aisle to find bipartisan solutions to these challenges, "The tea party ticket views bipartisanship as betrayal and attacked Gov. [Bob] McDonnell for his work to pass the first major transportation funding compromise in 27 years."

All three candidates contrasted their jobs-focused agenda with the agenda of the GOP ticket, comprised of Ken Cuccinelli, E.W. Jackson and Mark Obenshain.

Lieutenant governor candidate Ralph Northam said the Democratic ticket "will work for Virginians every day to improve our economy and strengthen our communities. And while Terry and I are unified and focused on these issues, our opponents could not be further from what Virginia needs from its leaders.

"Instead of putting jobs first, we've seen both Ken Cuccinelli and E.W. Jackson demonize gay Virginians, and try to impose their extreme ideological views on Virginia's businesses, communities, and families," said Northam, a state senator representing Norfolk.

Jackson, a minister from Chesapeake, has been widely chastised for condemning gays and comparing Planned Parenthood to the Ku Klux Klan.

If Northam wins against Jackson in November, Democrats will have the tie-breaking power in state Senate a post now held by Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling.

Attorney general candidate, Sen. Mark Herring, (Loudoun and Fairfax), who won the primary against first time candidate Justin Fairfax, stressed the need for responsible leaders in Richmond. He was alluding to recent conflict of interest problems facing current Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who is the GOP nominee for governor.

"It is time to restore pragmatism and responsibility to Virginia's attorney general's office. It is time for our attorney general to fight for Virginians, not fight for his own political opportunity," said Herring.

Primary candidates, Fairfax and Aneesh Chopra, who lost the lieutenant governor slot in the primary, will serve as co-chairs of party's 2013 Coordinated Campaign. "We are united this morning as Democrats and Virginians who recognize that we need leadership in Richmond that puts jobs ahead of a divisive and extreme ideological agenda," Herring stated.

Virginia Republicans, in response to the Democratic primary results, said that Virginia Democrats have nominated "three individuals that share a common bond: A clear history of support for policies—including higher taxes, big government programs and anti-competitive regulations— that will move Virginia backwards."

"Whether it’s their support for ObamaCare and billions in tax hikes, hostility to Virginia coal and offshore oil exploration, or openness to altering the commonwealth’s right-to-work status, there’s no question that the 2013 Democrat ticket will be among the most liberal in Virginia history," said Cuccinelli. "If elected, all three candidates will seek to advance ideologically driven, Washington, D.C. policies that will only exacerbate the uncertainty felt by so many job creators across the commonwealth."