The General Assembly adjourned for the last time this session on Saturday morning, which freed up candidates to hit the campaign trail. That’s exactly what Lt. Governor Ralph Northam did as he jumped in Toyota Prius after the session ended and drove up to McLean, VA to speak at a meet and greet.
There were about 100 people at the event and there were supposedly so many more people who wanted to come that they had to create a wait list. As I made my way around the room, there was a rather diverse group of people — both in terms of demographics and political experience.
Some of the people I spoke to simply lived in the area and knew the host, so decided to come. One of these people even mentioned that he couldn’t trust what the media was telling him about politicians so he wanted to come hear from Northam directly. Others were just getting involved after the election last November and had never actually met Ralph. Quite surprisingly, I found myself to be one of the few people who had actually met the candidate beforehand.
I’ve heard Ralph speak on a number of occasions, but I hadn’t been to one of his events since Tom Perriello entered the primary so I wanted to see if that had made him change his pitch at all. He didn’t mention Tom during his stump speech and instead focused in on his personal story and why he’s running (though he did talk about their NRA ratings — Tom had a A- and Ralph had a D — in response to a question afterwards).
For those of you who are interested, here’s the video of the speech. It’s about 15 minutes long and I had to break it up into two parts for it to be uploaded to YouTube. Here’s part 1:
And here’s part 2: