Democrat anger over Ralph Northam's supportfor the Atlantic Coast Pipeline continues to grow hotter and hotter. Anti-pipeline Democrats are becoming increasingly vocal against Northam,harassing him at campaign events, interrupting him during the first gubernatorial debate, and eventhreatening to withhold votes for him. And with some members of his party looking at voting for a third party candidate instead of Northam, it becomes increasingly clear with each passing day that Democrats are not united behind Northam's campaign and are well-prepared to sit at home on Election Day.
The Washington Post reports:
'For a guy whose party is supposed to be united behind him, Ralph Northam has faced moments of surprising disharmony from fellow Democrats in his campaign for Virginia governor.
The lieutenant governor has been shouted down by protesters at public events and drawn sniping on party blogs, all over a single issue: energy companies building two natural gas pipelines in rural parts of the state. Northam won't oppose the projects. Some Democrats despise them…
Pipeline opponents know what they're up against but believe right is on their side. They have walked 150 miles of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline route, staged outdoor concerts, posted mini-documentaries on Facebook, organized art events and spoken out at local government meetings all over the region.
Some are taking a hard look at Cliff Hyra, a Libertarian running for governor who opposes the pipelines. If the race between Northam and Gillespie is tight, Hyra could play the spoiler - giving the protesters more power than they seem to have now.
'I spent a lifetime primarily voting for the lesser evil,' said Mara Robbins, an environmentalist in Floyd County who has worked against the Mountain Valley Pipeline. 'Those of us who are taking this stand are getting slammed right and left by party loyalists, by people saying this is what happened with Hillary and Trump and Bernie [Sanders] supporters who wouldn't vote for Hillary.'
'The most common thing we hear is that this is just going to get Gillespie elected. Well, if that's what Northam wants, that's what's going to happen,' she said. 'I can't think that way anymore.''