Dems link Gillespie to Trump in governor’s race

Virginia Democrats printed up Trump-Gillespie signs in hope of using the president's unpopularity against the GOP gubernatorial candidate.
Staff photo Virginia Democrats printed up Trump-Gillespie signs in hope of using the president’s unpopularity against the GOP gubernatorial candidate. Staff photo

Democrats in the only Southern state that voted for Hillary Clinton for president are now trying to wrap GOP gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie around President Donald Trump in hopes Gillespie will sink like a stone in the 2017 electoral waters. State Senator Creigh Deeds, House Minority Leader David Toscano, Mayor Mike Signer and former mayor Alvin Edwards joined Democratic Party of Virginia chair Susan Swecker on the Downtown Mall Thursday for the “Trump-Gillespie” tour.

Democratic Party of Virginia chair Susan Swecker hits Charlottesville on her way to the first gubernatorial debate in Hot Springs Saturday. Staff photo

“People are sweating like Ed Gillespie every time he sees Corey Stewart in front of a microphone,” says the colorful Swecker in the 90-some degree heat. She calls Gillespie Trump’s “new apprentice,” and says that if Gillespie were more to the right on women’s issues, “he’d be standing 50 miles east of Virginia Beach.”

However, in Norfolk earlier this week, Gillespie touted his ability to work with the Trump administration, according to the Virginian-Pilot.

Local elected Democrats criticized the Republican health care plan. In Charlottesville, Signer noted that before Obamacare, he was turned down for health insurance coverage because of a bad knee.

And Toscano says the Gillespie tax plan “is only going to transfer wealth to those who already have it.”

The Dems are stumping around the state in a lead-up to the first debate between Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam and Gillespie, and printed up “Trump-Gillespie” signs, which were left under a tree during the press conference because elected Democrats don’t want to be photographed in front of a Trump sign, explains state Dem spokesperson Kevin Donohoe.

As for the possibility that some Republicans may actually want the Trump-Gillespie sign, Swecker laughs, and says state GOP chair John Whitbeck asked on Twitter if he’ll have to report the signs as an in-kind contribution.

The Virginia Bar Association will host the debate Saturday at the Homestead in Hot Springs.


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