White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest praised Tom Perriello, a Democratic candidate for Virginia governor, former Congressman, and former Obama administration official at Thursday’s White House press briefing. Perriello announced his candidacy early Thursday, and he was widely received as a left-wing challenge to primary opponent Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor, Ralph Northam.
“Mr. Perriello served this administration with distinction, and the President did enjoy a close working relationship with him in Congress and appreciated his commitment to a set of Democratic values,” Earnest said.
Earnest implied that the President lamented Perriello departure from the administration, saying, “It was all too short, in the President’s view.”
Earnest refused to say whether the President would offer an endorsement, but left the door open to the President’s support for Perriello after he left office. “Maybe in his role as a former President of the United States he’ll have more time to consider these kinds of decisions,” Earnest said.
The Virginia gubernatorial race is one of just a handful of major statewide elections held this year.
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