Ralph Northam

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Ralph Northam
Governor Ralph Northam Gives Inaugural Address (39348612584) (cropped).jpg
73rd Governor of Virginia
Assumed office
January 13, 2018
Lieutenant GovernorJustin Fairfax
Preceded byTerry McAuliffe
40th Lieutenant Governor of Virginia
In office
January 11, 2014 – January 11, 2018
GovernorTerry McAuliffe
Preceded byBill Bolling
Succeeded byJustin Fairfax
Member of the Virginia Senate
from the 6th district
In office
January 9, 2008 – January 11, 2014
Preceded byNick Rerras
Succeeded byLynwood Lewis
Personal details
Born
Ralph Shearer Northam

(1959-09-13) September 13, 1959 (age 59)
Nassawadox, Virginia, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Pam Northam (1987-present)
Children2
EducationVirginia Military Institute (BS)
Eastern Virginia Medical School (MD)
Signature
WebsiteCampaign website
Military service
Allegiance United States
Branch/service United States Army
Years of service1984–1992
RankUS-O4 insignia.svg Major
UnitMedical Corps

Ralph Shearer Northam (born September 13, 1959) is the 73rd and current Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia.[1] Before he became governor, Northam was a doctor, U.S. Army veteran and former Virginia senator.

A Democrat, Northam previously served the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia from January 11, 2014 until January 13, 2018, during Governor Terry McAuliffe's term in office. His term ended when he became Governor and he was succeeded in his position by Democrat Justin Fairfax.[2]

Northam was the Democratic nominee for Governor of Virginia in the 2017 election, facing Republican Ed Gillespie and winning the election.[3][4]

Early life[change | change source]

Northam was born in Nassawadox, Virginia. His mother, Nancy Shearer, was a nurse and his father, Wescott B. Northam, was an attorney. He was raised in Onancock, Virginia.[5] He studied at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington and at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk.[6]

Military career[change | change source]

From 1984 to 1992 he served as a United States Army medical officer. Northam left the U.S. Army in 1992 at the rank of major, having completed eight years of service.[5]

Early career[change | change source]

Northam first ran for office in 2007 in the Virginia 6th Senate district, which includes the Eastern Shore of Virginia; Mathews County, on the Middle Peninsula; and parts of the cities of Norfolk and Virginia Beach. He was re-elected in November 2011, defeating Ben Loyola, Jr., a defense contractor, 16,606 votes to 12,622.[7] He is best known to have led an effort to pass a ban on smoking in restaurants in Virginia. The bill failed the first time, but was passed the next year and signed into law by Governor Tim Kaine.[8][9]

Lieutenant Governor of Virginia[change | change source]

Northam ran for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in Virginia's 2013 gubernatorial election.[10] On November 5, 2013, Northam was elected as Virginia's 40th Lieutenant Governor over Republican E.W. Jackson by a 10% margin, receiving 55% of the vote to Jackson's 45%.[11] Northam was the first Democrat since Tim Kaine in 2001 to be elected Lieutenant Governor of Virginia.

2017 gubernatorial election[change | change source]

On November 17, 2015, Northam sent a message saying that he will run for Governor of Virginia via an email to supporters.[12]

Northam faced former congressman Tom Perriello in the Democratic primary. The primary campaign seen as a battle between the Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren supporters of the Democratic Party, seen by Perriello, and the Hillary Clinton wing, represented by Northam.[13] On June 13, 2017, Northam won the Democratic nomination with 56% of the vote to Perriello's 44%.[14]

Northam faced Republican nominee Ed Gillespie in the general election. Presidents Donald Trump and George W. Bush endorsed Gillespie in the general election. Main topics that influenced the outcome of the election were sanctuary cities, gang violence and health care. Northam was supported by former President Barack Obama[15] and former Vice President Joe Biden.[16]

Northam was elected the 73rd Governor of Virginia on November 7, 2017, defeating Ed Gillespie in the general election.[17] Northam won with 54% of the vote to Gillespie's 45%.[18]

Governor of Virginia (2018–present)[change | change source]

Northam was sworn in as Governor of Virginia at noon on January 13, 2018 at the State Capitol.[19] He became the second Eastern Shore native to serve as Governor of Virginia.

On February 1, 2019, images from Northam's medical school yearbook were published on the website Big League Politics.[20] The photos showed an image of an unknown person in blackface and an unknown person in a Ku Klux Klan hood on Northam's page in the yearbook.[21][22][23] A spokesman for Eastern Virginia Medical School confirmed that the image appeared in its 1984 yearbook. Shortly after the news broke, Northam confirmed he appeared in the photo[24] and issued an apology. Many people including Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders and Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax believe Northam should resign.[25]

Personal life[change | change source]

Northam married Pam Northam in 1987. They have two children. They live in Norfolk, Virginia.

References[change | change source]

  1. Sietz-Wald, Alex (2017-11-07). "Democrat Ralph Northam Wins the Virginia Governor's Race". NBC News. Retrieved 2017-11-08.
  2. Press, Associated (2017-11-07). "Latest: Democrat Justin Fairfax elected lieutenant governor". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2017-11-08.
  3. http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/ralph-northam-wins-democratic-nomination-virginias-race-governor-48019575
  4. Martin, Johnathan; Burns, Alexander (8 November 2017). "Ralph Northam Wins the Virginia Governor's Race". New York Times. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Jenna Portnoy, Ralph Northam, Va.'s low-key lieutenant governor, juggles politics and pediatrics, Washington Post (July 27, 2014).
  6. Kevin Robillard, How Donald Trump Blew Up the Virginia Governor's Race, Politico Magazine (April 13, 2017).
  7. Virginia State Board of Elections; Election Results for 2011; 2011 November Official Election Results
  8. Two Democratic hopefuls for Va. governor on schools, Metro and the minimum wage, Washington Post (June 4, 2017).
  9. McAuliffe has change of heart on Confederate statues, Washington Post (August 16, 2017).
  10. Vozzella, Laura (December 2, 2012). "Sen. Ralph Northam announces lieutenant governor bid". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 31, 2013.
  11. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on November 9, 2013. Retrieved 2013-11-12. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. Vozzella, Laura (November 17, 2015). "Virginia's lieutenant governor makes it official: He's seeking state's top job". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 18, 2015.
  13. A Fight for the Soul of the Democratic Party in Virginia (The Atlantic)
  14. "Virginia Primary Results: Northam Will Face Gillespie in Governor's Race" – via NYTimes.com.
  15. Obama back on campaign trail to rally for Ralph Northam in Richmond (Washington Post)
  16. Former Vice President Biden campaigns for Ralph Northam in roundtable discussion (AP)
  17. Press, The Associated (7 November 2017). "BREAKING: Democrat Ralph Northam wins Virginia's hard-fought race for governor. @AP race call at 8:12 p.m. EST. #Election2017 #APracecall". line feed character in |title= at position 80 (help)
  18. "2017 November General".
  19. Laura Vozzella; Fenit Nirappil; Gregory S. Schneider (January 13, 2018). "Fiddlers, native Americans and a champion oyster shucker salute new Va. governor". Washington Post. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  20. Farhi, Paul (February 3, 2019). "A tip from a 'concerned citizen' helps a reporter land the scoop of a lifetime". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 3, 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  21. Vozzella, Laura; Morrison, Jim; Schneider, Gregory S. (February 1, 2019). "Gov. Ralph Northam 'deeply sorry' after photo emerges from his 1984 yearbook showing blackface, KKK hood". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  22. "Ralph Northam yearbook page shows men in blackface and KKK robe". Virginian-Pilot. February 1, 2019. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  23. Kelly, Caroline (February 1, 2019). "Virginia governor's yearbook page shows 2 people in blackface, KKK garb". CNN. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  24. Virginia governor confirms 1984 yearbook page with racist imagery (Associated Press)
  25. Martin, Jonathan; Gabriel, Trip; Blinder, Alan (February 2, 2019). "Ralph Northam Resists Calls to Resign as Virginia Governor Over Racist Yearbook Photo". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 2, 2019.

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to Ralph Northam at Wikimedia Commons