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Tom Perriello visits Sterling the day before primaries

Tom Perriello meets with supporters in Sterling June 12. Times-Mirror/Amelia Heymann
Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Tom Perriello met with canvassing volunteers at the campaign’s Sterling headquarters this afternoon, where he thanked them for their grassroots support on the eve of the statewide primaries in Virginia.

“One of the things we’ve destroyed in this campaign is a myth,” Perriello said. “That myth is we either need to get our base excited [or] expand the party into new voters, but we are doing both. We’re winning with young voters, with diverse voters across Virginia and rural voters.”

Perriello said he thinks his campaign can help bring Virginians back together.

“There are those from Donald Trump to the Republican legislature who want to divide us, based on region and based on race,” he noted.

One of Perriello’s goals is to initiate two years of free community college for Virginia state students. As the first Virginia candidate to campaign with this stated goal, he said the old way of doing things has failed the people, noting crippling student and consumer debt.

“We’re also going to put together this agenda that leaves no one behind. We have to get back to the basic opportunity promised of the American dream,” Perriello said.

Ibtisaam Amin said she prefers Perriello over Northam because she thinks Perriello is a candidate with integrity who stands strongly for women’s rights and environmental issues.

“I think he has the right ideas, and he can do the best for Virginians,” said Amin.

Northam himself has made supporting women’s health care options a centerpiece of his campaign.

While Northam was initially considered the favorite in the Democratic contest, Perriello has seen a surge of support since announcing his campaign in January. The race is essentially considered a toss-up heading into Tuesday.

After his pep talk, Perriello spoke with volunteers one-on-one. As the visit ended, canvassers left to go knock on doors. With election day a night away, there was still much to do.


Contact the writer at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or on Twitter at @heymannamelia.

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