Home 2019 Elections Atif Qarni: Why I’m Supporting Ralph Northam for Governor

Atif Qarni: Why I’m Supporting Ralph Northam for Governor

0
Advertisement

by Atif Qarni

At the upcoming Prince William Democratic committee meeting, I will be speaking on behalf of Dr. Northam as his surrogate.

Both Ralph Northam and Tom Perriello have a good shot at being our next governor. I met with both face to face to get to know them. Tom was very kind to take time to do a round table with my teacher friends and I. Ralph visited my mosque and spent time with us in a round table. In both instances, I had a chance to observe both candidates. I believe both are genuine.

I have friends on both sides who strongly believe in the two candidates. The last few weeks, I have received several phone calls from both sides to come out in support of their candidate. This is because Prince William County is one of the key regions, and currently I happen to be involved in several organized efforts, which has democrats highly engaged.

I have been very vocal about the internal issues with our party. I am against folks trying to clear the field for a candidate and anointing a person, without giving others an opportunity. Initially for that reason, I was not going to get involved in this primary. However, after I met with Ralph, my mind changed. There is something very special about him, which is not measurable by a poll.

Currently there is a lot of noise in politics. Some folks say that Ralph is boring and soft-spoken and that can hurt Democrats. I disagree. From my observation, Ralph is a calming force. I believe his humility and authenticity are valuable traits. These traits are a very nice contrast to flashy politicians like Ed Gillespie who will be the likely Republican nominee.

During last year’s primary, I supported Bernie Sanders. Several Clinton folks criticized Sanders supporters and vice-versa. There is a lot of crossover of supporters in this primary. We have seen early signs of attacks from supporters. After, last year’s primary, I worked hard to make sure people in my area voted for Hillary. She won Prince William County with ease. If Tom wins the primary, I will work hard for him as well.  In the primary, however, I will be working hard for Ralph, and I encourage others to support him.

I want to caution Democrats in avoiding lengthy verbal attacks on supporters from opposing sides. The reason for this is that many communities are under attack. As a Muslim, I worry for the well-being of my family and friends. As a Teacher, I worry for my students and co-workers. We cannot afford to lose this governor’s race. Whomever is the nominee, we will quickly need to rally behind that person.

There's no paywall on Blue Virginia, and we definitely want to keep it that way! If you want to help support our work, you can donate here - thanks! Also, you can sign up for our weekly email list here.