Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam spoke to a small group of Hampton residents Saturday about jobs and affordable health care, and commented on the violence that occurred during a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.
The visit was one of Northam’s first stops in a weekend of visiting faith communities and kicking off Hampton Roads canvassing efforts in his campaign for governor. At least seven volunteers showed up Saturday, and a couple in attendance said they hope to join the campaign efforts soon.
Northam said Saturday people want jobs, good education, affordable health care and safe neighborhoods.
“Those are the things that are important to Virginians, it’s what we hear as we travel around,” Northam said.
Northam said Gov. Terry McAuliffe was monitoring the violent rally in Charlottesville Saturday.
“We have a situation in Charlottesville today which is very troubling to Gov. McAuliffe and a lot of other people here in Virginia,” Northam said. “We certainly support the first amendment, but it doesn’t condone violence. And we don’t really condone in Virginia the hatred and bigotry that we’re watching. We’re monitoring that situation very close. We have people on the ground that are there to keep Charlottesville and to keep Virginia safe.”
Campaign volunteers and Hampton residents Deborah Logan and Mary Johnson came out Saturday to support Northam because he wants to help all people, they said.
Ruth Jensen, a 90-year-old Hampton resident who showed up Saturday, said fairness and health care for everyone are extremely important to her. She plans to come back to volunteer for Northam’s campaign soon.
Northam will visit Virginia Beach Sunday. He will be at New Light Full Gospel Baptist Church, 5549 Indian River Road, at 8 a.m.
He will then head to the 2nd Jurisdiction Church of God & Christ Convocation, 118 Bishop Thoroughgood Ave., at 10:30 a.m.
Finally, he will attend a canvassing kick-off event at noon at 5600 Virginia Beach Blvd. St. 5605 B.
Northam is confident with his areas of focus, including jobs and health care.
“What I bring to the table is to make sure that every job in Virginia is a good job, and to make sure that Virginians have access to health care,” Northam said. “It should be a right, just like education for children is a right, and no person of family should be one medical illness away from financial demise.”
Ed Gillespie, Northam’s Republican opponent, campaigned in Smyth and Pulaski counties Saturday.
Smith can be be reached by phone at 757-510-1663.