Northam Exposure — state senator considering LG bid
State Sen. Ralph Northam, D-Norfolk, is leaning toward a run for lieutenant governor in 2013.
“It’s fair to say I am considering running for lieutenant governor,” Northam said Friday afternoon, when asked about his political plans by the Times-Dispatch. He said he would not make a final decision on his plans until sometime after the Nov. 6 election.
Northam, a physician by trade serving his second term in the Virginia Senate, has long been touted by Democratic leaders as a potential statewide candidate, but earlier this year said a run in 2013 was unlikely given the demands of his medical practice following the death of one of its founding partners. Northam is a pediatric neurologist.
A soft-spoken moderate Democrat who graduated Virginia Military Institute and served in the U.S. Army, Northam has potential crossover appeal in the commonwealth. He is a strong supporter of veterans issues and rural interests of outdoorsmen and the fishing, and has also taken strong stands on public health issues like smoking in restaurants, childhood obesity, identifying concussions among student athletes and abortion rights.
Currently, only Aneesh Chopra has declared his intentions to seek the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor. Democrats recently decided to elect their statewide slate through a primary, rather than a convention, making fundraising a critical component of any bid for office. Chopra has already raised more than a half million dollars to make his case.
Republicans meanwhile, have at least five candidates vying for the lieutenant governor’s job and others believed to be waiting in the wings. Republicans will choose their nominees by convention.