Who am I?

Ralph Northam grew up working on the Chesapeake Bay before attending Virginia Military Institute, where he graduated with distinction and was President of the Honor Court. After graduating from Eastern Virginia Medical School, Ralph served eight years active duty in the United States Army, rising to the rank of Major. Upon his return from treating soldiers injured in Desert Storm, Ralph began practicing pediatric neurology at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Norfolk. Ralph additionally serves as Assistant Professor of Neurology at Eastern Virginia Medical School and has ten years of volunteer services as Medical Director for the Edmarc Hospice for Children in Portsmouth.

Since first being elected to the Senate of Virginia in 2007, Ralph has scored numerous major legislative accomplishments, including helping to prohibit smoking in restaurants, protecting youth athletes who have sustained concussions, improving the health of the Chesapeake Bay, and shielding our first responders from communicable diseases. Ralph has also been a tireless advocate for women’s health, public education, economic development, and long-term solutions to Virginia’s transportation problems.

Why am I running?

In December, Ralph Northam announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination to become Virginia’s next Lieutenant Governor. With an even split between Democrats and Republicans in the Virginia Senate, the Lieutenant Governor will be tasked with casting the tie breaking vote on key legislation impacting the Commonwealth. Ralph Northam has a record in the Virginia Senate that uniquely qualifies him to effectively navigate the legislative process and protect our values that have too often been under attack with Republican control in Richmond.

My Goals

Standing up for Women's Rights - I am deeply disturbed by the Republican assault on women’s reproductive rights led by Governor Bob McDonnell and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. Their crusades to shut down reproductive health centers and to mandate costly and invasive medical procedures for women seeking abortions have embarrassed the Commonwealth, and have inserted government between doctors and their patients.
Promoting Health Care and Public Health - Our work is not done, however, and state level decisions will determine how well ACA performs. Last year, I sponsored legislation that would have had Virginia take a proactive approach to setting up health care exchanges, and I remain committed to ensuring that the Commonwealth moves quickly to comply with the law and start getting health care to currently uninsured Virginians. I also want to make sure that we make the right and prudent decision to expand Medicaid coverage, rather than walking away from millions of federal dollars that could help make sick people well.
Enery, the Environment, and Natural Resources - I flatly reject the idea that environmental regulations harm our economy. One needs to look no farther than the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to see how damaging a lack oversight and safeguards can be to the natural resources and environmental treasures that support our marine resource and tourism industries. I strongly oppose drilling for oil off the coast of Virginia, and am proud that I helped defeat attempts to lift the moratorium on uranium mining in the Commonwealth. I believe that it is both possible and necessary to achieve economic development that retains and improves the quality of our air, water, and land.

My DFA Values

Northam for Lt. Governor is a campaign that has grown out of the inequity Ralph Northam found in the Republican controlled Virginia State Senate. When Republicans took control of the State Senate with the tie breaking vote of the Republican Lt. Governor, Ralph found that the people's business became stalled in exchange for an extreme partisan agenda. Thankfully, Virginians and good people from around the country flocked to the Virginia capitol in protest to the Republican war on women. That display of frustration channeled into activism inspired Ralph Northam to take up the fight and run for Lt. Governor. A Northam victory will put the tie breaking vote in the Virginia Senate in the hands of a Democrat who stood up for our values when we needed a leader most.

My Campaign is People Powered!

The Northam for Lt. Governor campaign has used people power to make a difference. When Virginia Republicans passed unconstitutional redistricting during the President's inauguration ceremony, Ralph Northam called on the Governor to veto the legislation and ask the public to join him. Two weeks later Northam delivered over fourteen thousand signatures to the Governor's office. The next day the redistricting legislation was struck down.
Additionally, Virginia has a strict ballot access restriction of 10,000 ballot petition signatures. Ralph Northam decided he would achieve this goal through volunteer forces, instead of buying the list through a political vendor. Building a network around the commonwealth, the Northam for Lt. Governor campaign has broad support and is stronger to win the primary and general election because of that hard work collecting signatures.

Voice support


  • Terry Guthrie
  • Carolyn Douglas, VA
  • Bud Ward
  • MaryMartha Christianson
  • Francis Wiget
  • Barbara Thackray
  • Frances Crutchfield, VA
  • Mary Poliseo
  • Kathy Neilson, VA
  • Ernest Powell, VA
...and 143 more.

About the Endorsement Process

The driving force behind all DFA endorsements is our members. We recognize that all politics is local and that what is considered progressive in Los Angeles may be very different from what's considered progressive in Louisville. For this reason, DFA does not have a litmus test of specific progressive positions for which a candidate must stand. Our endorsement is heavily weighted based on these questions:

• Will the candidate move the progressive movement forward in their community?
• Does the candidate have substantial support from our local members?
• Do the candidate's positions and policies fit into the broader progressive movement?
• Is the campaign people-powered and the candidate working to win?

If you have questions, or want to let us know about a candidate in your neighborhood, please call us at (802) 651-3200 or email us at [email protected] .

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