Former Rep. Tom Perriello (D) and Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) “launched their sharpest onstage attacks of each other yet Tuesday as” they “accused each other of having shaky loyalty to the party. Perriello confronted Northam directly over his past support for former President George W. Bush, and Northam accused Perriello of being a libertarian in Democrat’s clothing who frequently voted with Republicans during his single term in Congress.” (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
The RGA bought Snapchat filters for the debate accusing Northam of “dodging” answers and Perriello of “flip-flop[ping]” on issues. (release)
THE KIMMEL EFFECT. Perriello’s campaign announced Tuesday his “viral” ad, in which a compactor crushes an ambulance starting Tuesday aired “in the Washington, D.C., Norfolk, Richmond, Roanoke and Charlottesville markets … during Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Late Night with Seth Meyers, and during Saturday’s new episode of Saturday Night Live hosted by Melissa McCarthy.” “The ad … has more than 400,000 views on YouTube, 236,000 views on Facebook and 86,000 views on Twitter.” (release)
LOCK, STOCK, AND BARREL. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) endorsed former RNC Chair Ed Gillespie (R) on Wednesday in a fundraising email.
Rubio: “I need you to join me in turning your attention to what’s happening right now in the governor’s race in Virginia. Right now, Republican candidate Ed Gillespie is facing a tough campaign against a Democratic candidate who has been hand-picked by liberals like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and George Soros, or by the Clinton-McAuliffe machine. … I know Ed Gillespie and he is not only an incredible patriot, but a great husband and father. He will be a great Governor of Virginia and bring more jobs to the Commonwealth while also lowering taxes and making it easier for small businesses to open and grow.” (Hotline reporting)
The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence endorsed Northam on Wednesday. (release)
DEEP IN THE HEART. Prince William County Supervisors Chair Corey Stewart (R) “told reporters if elected, he will push for [sanctuary city] legislation similar to a law recently approved in” Texas. (WVIR)
ANALYSIS. “Northam appears to be reacting, while Perriello is racing from pillar to post, supporting his online presence with retail politics. Northam explains — always a peril, if not an outright sign that a candidate is losing. Perriello excites — sparing him from having to explain votes and views on abortion rights and guns that violate Democratic orthodoxy.
“But this is where Northam may have the upper hand. With a nearly 2-to-1 advantage over Perriello in cash on-hand, Northam has the means to demean his opponent as a verbally dexterous newcomer to state government whose capacity for flash should not be mistaken for familiarity with the way that a deeply polarized Richmond works — or doesn’t.” (Richmond Times-Dispatch)