08:06 GMT +320 July 2019
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    Barack is Back! Obama to Campaign for Democrat in Virginia Gubernatorial Race

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    Former US President Barack Obama is set to make a political comeback as a campaigner for Ralph Northam, a gubernatorial candidate in Virginia.

    According to Richmond.com, Northam announced that he received a call from Obama during a speech on Wednesday to people who gathered at Richmond's Secco Wine Bar for a Women for Northam happy hour event.

    "President Barack Obama said that ‘I want to tell you how important Virginia is to me. It means the world to me. It means our legacy, for me and Michelle. I'm going to do everything that I can to come to Virginia to campaign for you,'" Northam told the audience.

    According to political analysts, Obama abandoned his self-imposed political exile because Democrats need to win Virginia, and to pull that off, the votes of Obama supporters, particularly Black Virginians, will definitely come in handy.

    "Northam can't have a situation where he's underperforming with the African-American community and among young people," says Bob Holsworth, a longtime Virginia political analyst formerly with Virginia Commonwealth University.

    Northam already has the support of 75 percent of black people, Richmond reports. Republican Ed Gillespie, Northam's opponent, has secured a mere 6 percent, and 18 percent of black voters remain undecided.

    So, what's the fuss? Why put so much effort into a gubernatorial election? Gerrymandering.

    According to the Associated Press, the race is crucial because the next governor will play a key role in drawing the electoral districts for the next presidential elections.

    Considering Virginia and New Jersey are the only two states that will elect governors this year, and Democrats are heavily favored in the latter, it's little wonder Dems have put all their effort into fighting Gillespie, who was recently endorsed by US President Donald Trump via Twitter.

    According to the Washington Post, former President George W. Bush, a Republican, is scheduled to headline two fundraisers for Gillespie in October in Alexandria and Richmond. On October 15, Vice President Mike Pence will campaign with Gillespie in Abingdon and former Vice President Joe Biden will campaign with Northam in Fairfax County, Richmond.com reports.


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