CBS 6 profiles LG, AG candidates for Democratic primary

Posted at 6:29 PM, Jun 04, 2013

RICHMOND, VA (WTVR) -- Many Virginians know there is an election in November, but few know about the statewide election being held on June 11.

That is when Democrats will officially choose their nominees for statewide office. The Republican Party of Virginia chose their slate of candidates in a convention last month.

While no one is running against Terry McAuliffe for the nomination for Governor, there are contested races for the Lt. Governor and Attorney General.

For Lt. Governor, Aneesh Chopra - a former technology advisor to President Obama - is running against current State Senator Ralph Northam. The winner will face Republican nominee EW Jackson.

"I believe the decisions the Commonwealth will make over the next four years, will impact the Commonwealth over the next forty," Chopra said in a recent interview with CBS 6.

"I've been in the Senate since 2008 and especially in the last couple years we have just lost direction," Northam said.

Chopra has received the endorsement of Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones while Northam has received the endorsement of the Washington Post.

While both candidates are similar on the main issues, each man has a contrasting styles.

The position of Lt. Governor is a part time position in Virginia, with the main responsibly being president of the State Senate when its in session.

Chopra is New Jersey native and Harvard graduate who gained prominence as a technology expert; while Northam is an Eastern Shore native, an army veteran, and practicing pediatric neurologist.

"If folks in Chesterfield or Henrico want to make sure we have the jobs of the future, we need to make investments not just in infrastructure but in human capita," Chopra says.

Northam on the other hand is hoping his past record fighting for abortion rights helps sway undecided female voters.

"We want be all inclusive in Virginia the last thing we want do is make this an unfavorable place for women to live," Northam says.

In regards to the race for Attorney General, State Senator Mark Herring is battling political newcomer Justin Fairfax.

Fairfax is a former Assistant US Attorney and the only former prosecutor in the Democratic Race. He has received the Washington Post endorsement.

While he is only 34 years old, he believes age is not an issue.

"I'm four years older than when Bill Clinton was elected Attorney General of Arkansas," Fairfax said.

Herring is the clear establishment choice with several prominent Democrats - like Henrico Senator Don McEachin - endorsing him.

Herring is hoping a Democrat in office can reverse recent abortion regulation changes, changes that stipulate older abortion clinics must conform to new guidelines.

"On day one, I will reverse the opinion that Ken Cuccinelli gave that says the Board of Health did not have authority to issue a grandfather provision," Herring said.

Whoever wins the race for AG will face an uphill battle. No Democrat has won the office of Attorney General in over twenty years.

"We need an Attorney General who is completely different than Ken Cuccinelli that is what I am," Fairfax said.

The winning Democrat will face State Senator Mark Obenshain in the November AG General Election.