Know More About Virginia’s Candidates: Northam

Ralph Northam: Democratic Candidate

Lauren Tull

Center-spread and Design Editor


There’s a lot more to an election than what happens on November 7th. For five whole months, the Democratic Party of Virginia has been working tirelessly to get our candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general elected. After spending all this time as a fellow for the DPVA, making thousands of phone calls, and knocking on hundreds of doors, I feel as if I know the candidates personally, and I’m excited and proud to vote for them on Tuesday.

I started working for the Ralph Northam Campaign for Governor before he won the primary election. I believe that Dr. Northam is the best candidate for governor for many reasons.

Ralph Northam is a public servant, and cares deeply about Virginians. Ralph Northam’s main goal as governor would be to stand up for what is right and make Virginia a “more welcoming and supportive place to live,” states his website. He has spent his life helping people of all ages and backgrounds.

Northam is currently a pediatric neurologist in Norfolk, VA, and as Former President Obama put it, “You know you have to be smart to do pediatric neurology!” As someone who works in the medical field, he knows first-hand the problems with our current healthcare system. Northam wants to ensure high-quality, yet affordable, healthcare to all Virginians.

Before this, he served as a United States Army physician, and even treated casualties during Operation Desert Storm. Since he worked with soldiers, Northam knows well the damage that semi-automatic guns can do. He is an advocate for increased protection against gun violence and gun safety reforms.

Ralph Northam knows that to have a good education system, we have to recruit and retain talented and motivated teachers. To do this, Virginia needs to raise its teacher salaries, which are currently far below the national average.

Similarly, he wants to redo and revamp the high school education system that is currently in place. Northam understands that there are students who don’t plan on attending college right after high school, and suggests that some should spend the last two years of high school in apprenticeships and job training. Those who don’t go to college should be better prepared to enter the workforce soon after graduation, instead of struggling to figure out what their next step after high school will be.

Ralph Northam recognizes that Virginia’s public colleges and universities are still too expensive for some families, and wants to lower the cost of these schools to ensure that all qualified students have access to quality higher education.

Virginia is a leading state in the field of science and innovation, and Dr. Northam wants to make sure students are being prepared to enter into these important job fields. If elected, he will invest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and math) classes in schools and expand computer science programs at all levels.

Ralph Northam has a long history of fighting for the rights of everyone, including women and members of the LGBTQ community. He wants to close the female wage gap because “what’s good for women is good for our entire commonwealth.” Additionally, he believes women’s healthcare choices are her own and are best left between her and her doctor, not politicians. This is important to me because, as a woman, I don’t want male politicians without medical backgrounds deciding what is best for my health and wellbeing. In congress and as our current Lieutenant Governor, Northam has forcefully opposed bathroom bills that discriminate against transgender people, and fight to protect members of the LGBTQ community from things like workplace and adoption discrimination.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working for a person I truly believe will make Virginia a better place to live.

If you are old enough to vote, vote! If you’re not, make sure your parents are planning to vote. Again, Former President Obama put it best. “Don’t boo, vote! Don’t boo. Booing doesn’t do any good. Voting does some good!”

Read about his opponent, Gillespie, here

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