All six Virginia gubernatorial candidates from the two major parties have had something to say about President Donald Trump’s executive order suspending travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries. The four running for the Republican Party nomination have voiced varying degrees of support, while the two seeking the Democratic nod — along with incumbent governor Terry McAuliffe — have spoken out against Trump.
Ed Gillespie – Former Republican Party Chair (Republican) :
“When you factor out all the misinformation and media hysteria, it’s clear that a temporary pause on refugee resettlement is a rational step to secure our homeland and keep Americans safe, but it should accommodate those Green Card holders who pose no security threat returning from travel outside the United States,” Gillespie posted to social media.
“As governor, I will work with the federal government to protect our homeland and the safety of Virginians. As the son of an immigrant, I know we can be a secure and welcoming nation at the same time.”
Ralph Northam – Incumbent Lt. Governor (Democrat):
“I strongly denounced the executive order. It is outrageous and contrary to the ideals and principles on which our country and our Commonwealth were founded. Not only are we a nation of immigrants, we are a nation founded by religious refugees. This action ignores the very essence of who we are,” Northam said in a statement.
“Irrespective of political party, our current President has used his first week in office to trample on the values that made our country a beacon of hope for many across the world. During these uncertain times, leadership at all levels of government is required to stand up for our highest ideals.”
Tom Perriello – Former VA Congressman (Democrat):
“Like all of you, I’ve been terrified by Trump’s onslaught — and inspired by the response. I’ve spent evenings at Dulles Airport with young lawyers of every ethnicity, all with a common commitment to our Constitution and an inclusive America. We’ve asked you to support the ACLU and others defending rights of the most vulnerable,” Perriello posted on Facebook.
“But if there is one thing Donald Trump understands, it is losing and winning. I decided to run for Governor because I’m determined to fight with every ounce of my being to make sure Virginia rejects Trump at the ballot box this year. In his new backyard, we will defeat him with what he hates most — a diverse and progressive majority that crushes him and his loser ideology.”
Denver Riggleman – Air Force Veteran (Republican):
“I felt the policy was right if you’re looking from an analytical point of view as far as resetting the intelligence sector for vetting data,” Riggleman was quoted in the Richmond Times-Dispatch. ““But I do think it was probably clumsily implemented. It was pretty ambiguous on who they’re going to let in and not. … I think they’re trying to fix that right now.”
Corey Stewart – Chairman, Prince William County Board of Supervisors (Republican):
“Trump Administration executive order on refugees is reasonable and necessary,” Stewart said in a statement. “It is a temporary inconvenience to fewer than 200 people a day. It is what is minimally required to prevent terrorists, disguised as refugees, from entering the country.”
Frank Wagner – Virginia State Senator (Republican):
“I took a public position to support President Trump’s Executive Order to pause immigration from 3 nations on the State Department’s list of State Sponsors of Terrorism (Iran, Sudan and Syria), 3 failed States (Libya, Somalia, Yemen) and Iraq, which is full of ISIS fighters and other terrorists,” said in a statement. “The Order includes a waiver provision and it gives States some say on who is relocated to their State.”
“We all know that the Democrats hate President Trump and they are completely overreacting to this Order. It’s a 90-day review; it’s not permanent. Take a deep breath.”