Home 2017 Races BREAKING: NY Times Reports Tom Perriello to Announce for Governor of Virginia...

BREAKING: NY Times Reports Tom Perriello to Announce for Governor of Virginia Tomorrow


Unlike four years ago, when I was well aware that Tom Perriello was considering a run for Governor of Virginia, I didn’t even have an inkling of this.

Tom Perriello, the former congressman from Virginia, is considering a bid for governor, a move that would disrupt Democrats’ well-laid plans in perhaps the highest-profile election in the country this year.

This is a total surprise, at least to me, as I was assuming Ralph Northam had the nomination wrapped up. I’ve got a call into Tom Perriello, hope to hear back from him. In the meantime, feel free to speculate about what this might mean for the 2017 statewide races in Virginia. One thing’s for sure: so much for a boring “coronation” in 2017 here in Virginia.

P.S. I agree with Ben Tribbett, “Good lesson for everyone to learn in politics- nothing is ever final until the filing deadline.”

P.P.S. My general view is that primaries are very good things, for   a variety of reasons (e.g., they force candidates to get out their and actually campaign, they help candidates hone their messages and build their operations, they get activists engaged/energized, they increase name ID), and that they absolutely should NOT be discouraged by party honchos. In this case, I like both Ralph and Tom, so it would be a tough choice…would need to hear each candidate’s case for why they’d be a stronger candidate and a better Governor. Which, again, is exactly how it should be, IMHO.

Also, here’s some video of Tom.

  • John Farrell

    I really admire Tom but cannot imagine a reason to support him instead of Dr. Ralph.

    • The Green Miles
    • I like both of ’em! A lot! Ralph is probably closer to me politically, but I know Tom- he busts his ass. I’ve never seen anyone as singularly dedicated to their constituents as Tom, even for people who don’t agree with him. Tom is still my hero.

  • Esther Ferington

    I see your point about primaries in theory, but my memory of the three way 2009 primary between Brian Moran, Terry McAuliffe, and Creigh Deeds is not a good one.

    • Right, that one was nasty, but it is NOT why we lost. In fact, Deeds’ one lead of the race was right after the super-nasty primary ended. I could also point to a gazillion counter-examples of nasty primaries where Dems (or, for that matter, Republicans) went on to win…

      • For instance, Webb vs. Miller in 2006 was super nasty, yet Webb went on to defeat George Allen. Also, Obama vs.. Clinton in 2008 was super nasty, yet Obama went on…well, you know. 🙂

        • Makisig Imperial

          Notice that these primaries were in the OUT party. Gimme an example of a contested primary for a party DEFENDING the seat.

          • In 2000, both Republicans and Democrats had primaries for president (Bush vs. McCain, Gore vs. Bradley) to succeed Bill Clinton. Gore ended up winning the popular vote, Bush ended up winning the Electoral College thanks to…well, you know. There have also been innumerable primaries for Congress in “red” or “blue” seats where the “red” or “blue” party ended up holding the seat. Same thing for the Virginia General Assembly. I’m sure there are tons more examples, but it’s still early in the morning and I’m still not fully awake…

  • Kindler

    Primaries are a good thing as long as the candidates focus on the real enemy and don’t demonize each other. Not to relive the last year (please!), but I personally think Bernie stepped over that line and bears some responsibility for Hillary’s loss. But to be fair, Hillary also failed to ignite enough of the passions to get more of Bernie’s supporters to the polls.

    At the same time, the primary likely made Hillary a better candidate as well as improving the Democratic platform.

    I personally have not been too impressed with what I’ve heard from Northam — e.g., I’ve seen nothing from him on clean energy — and would really like to see him step up his game. It may take a primary challenge from someone as energetic as Perriello to make that happen.

    And Perriello could be the perfect progressive populist voice for the moment. Make the candidates swear on their mother’s graves that they won’t personally attack each other, and such a primary could be a godsend, producing a better candidate than a boring coronation ever could.

    I’d encourage McAuliffe, Kaine, Warner, etc. not to try to do any kingmaking. Let the best man win.

  • Philip Whitman

    In theory I am not against a primary, but I am genuinely worried that this could become a repeat of what the Democrats went through last year.

    • The Green Miles

      When all top Democrats cleared the field for Hillary, she coasted through the primary, and blew the election? I know, I’m worried about that too.

  • Interesting comment by Matthew Yglesias of Vox. I agree strongly.

    Not only is @tomperriello great, the “clear the field” impulse referenced here is a sickness Democrats need to drop

    • Yes, absolutely. We need mixes of candidates, not only in elections like this but in the Party nationally. Not having Blue Dogs has brought us to where we are now; I wouldn’t be able to win in Fairfax or Charlottesville City, and a libby lib there wouldn’t win in the sticks where I live. Diversity makes us stronger- echo chambers are dangerous. And as long as all candidates agree to work for each other in the end, that’s fine.

  • Jerel C. Wilmore

    To me, the timing is interesting because Northam won’t be able to campaign during General Assembly, so Tom has a month to see if there is any interest in an alternative.

  • Stephen Spiker

    I know Perriello, but who is the other guy again?

  • Elaine Owens

    The one thing that has bothered me about Ralph Northam as the only candidate for governor is his lack of energy, drive, hunger for victory. Combined with the inability of the Democratic Party to get its base to vote in every election, that’s a possible situation leading to defeat. With Tom Perriello in the race, at least Northam will have to fight for the nomination, possibly getting Democratic voters more enthusiastic about voting, no matter who wins the nomination as long as the primary doesn’t get nasty. I remember vividly how hard McAuliffe ran for governor. I haven’t seen that fire in Northam at all. Perriello will also inevitably pull Northam more to the left, not a bad thing.