Though Perriello previously voted for an anti-abortion amendment, the former congressman now offers a more liberal platform against Trump and his business policies, promising to raise taxes on the wealthy to pay for social programs and arguing against two proposed natural gas pipelines.
The race has been framed as a reboot of the Bernie Sanders-Hillary Clinton contest, but the comparison is not a flawless fit.
On a 90-degree night here outside Washington, about 200 Northam supporters waited for polls to close on the patio of a bar called Highline RXR. Months before his opponent even entered the race, Northam sewed up everything that usually decides intra-left state primaries - the endorsements of all of Virginia's major Democratic officials, backing from the state's biggest donors, the support of its most powerful interest groups.
Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam also vowed to fight Trump but said he'll work with state Republicans to move a progressive - and realistic - agenda forward. New Jersey is the only other state electing a governor this year.
"I think if someone looks at my history of public service in Virginia, they will see that I have been unwavering in support of progressive Democratic values", Northam argued. Time Kaine and Mark Warner, as well as McAuliffe.
Perriello made a surprise entrance into the race in January and faced an uphill climb from the beginning.
No matter what happens on Tuesday, national political prognosticators are going to attempt to draw a grand conclusion on what the result tells us about American voters in the era of Trump.
If Perriello is injecting national politics into the race, Northam, a physician, represents a local voice. So it's really more of a "national versus state perspective" contest, reflected in the two candidates' messaging: Perriello is touting his campaign as an important sign of anti-Trump sentiment, while Northam (as one might expect of a lieutenant governor) is talking more about continuing Terry McAuliffe's legacy and dealing with a Republican-controlled legislature.
Russian police detain Putin critic Navalny ahead of Moscow protest
He is recovering after an assailant threw green dye in his face in April, the latest in a series of physical attacks. The Moscow rally is one of almost 200 planned for towns and cities to mark the Russia Day public holiday.
Associated Press reporters Ben Finley in Norfolk and Alanna Durkin Richer in Richmond contributed to this report.
A chemical spill at a Virginia school has forced voting in the state's gubernatorial primary to move outside to a parking lot.
Voters also will choose candidates for the Republican-controlled House of Delegates.
Northam will face Ed Gillespie in the general election.
The race for attorney general is already set to be a battle between incumbent Democrat Mark Herring and Republican nominee John Adams, as no one is contesting either man for his respective party's nomination.
In House races, there is a contest on June 13 on the Democratic Party side in the 2nd House District, which covers parts of Prince William and Stafford counties.
Voters head to the polls Tuesday in Virginia's primary contests for governor, with the white hot Democratic contest coming down to a choice between heads and hearts.
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