Former president Barack Obama returned to the campaign trail on Thursday to stump for Democrat Ralph Northam in Virginia’s high stakes gubernatorial election just three weeks away.
Obama never named his successor or Northam’s Republican opponent, Ed Gillespie, once in a 34-minute speech. But he seemed to be referring to both men as he lamented how politics have turned “nasty.”
He praised Northam, a former Army doctor, pediatric neurologist and current lieutenant governor, as the kind of leader the country needs.
“At a time so many of us are cynical about government and public service, to have someone step up who you can trust and just wants to do right by the people of Virginia, that’s worth something,” said Obama, who in 2008 became the first Democrat to carry Virginia in a presidential race in 44 years.
Northam is locked in a tight contest with Gillespie, a longtime GOP operative and former chairman of the Republican National Committee.