E.W. Jackson’s fears may have been unfunded – at least for now. In a mailout to supporters last week, the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor claimed that his Democratic rival, state Sen. Ralph S. Northam of Norfolk, is preparing a “false, unethical pile-on intended to attack me and my family personally” instead of “talking about the issues that face Virginians and how to solve them.” The attack ads were about to be dropped, Jackson concluded, citing a remark Northam allegedly made at a campaign event, promising that this week is going to be “the worst in Jackson’s life.”
Northam denied ever having made such remarks; a Jackson spokesman did not provide details about where and when the Democrat has allegedly said them. And Northam’s first television ad, which he unveiled today, makes no mention of his opponent at all. Instead, the 30-second spot highlights his service in the United States Army, where the pediatric neurologist has treated soldiers and children with brain injuries.
“Our new ad continues to push our positive message about Dr. Northam’s vision for moving Virginia forward and lets voters know that he has the experience to lead,” said campaign spokesman Grant Herring in a statement released today. “Virginians understand what’s at stake in this election and they are looking for moderate, bipartisan leaders like Dr. Ralph Northam.”
With the election two weeks away, there is still plenty of time for both candidates in the lieutenant governor race to go negative. Herring wouldn’t say if future ads will focus on Jackson’s history of controversial statements.