RICHMOND — E.W. Jackson says he’s not the “extreme” candidate in the Virginia lieutenant governor’s race, and is telling potential donors that label is more fitting of his Democratic opponent.
In a fundraising e-mail sent to supporters on Thursday, Jackson said, “The Democrats are doing everything in their power, with the help of the liberal media, to characterize patriotism, belief in our Constitution and commitment to free market principles as ‘extreme.’
“This is not extreme . . . The liberal Democrat Lt. Governor candidate, Ralph Northam, supports lowering the health and safety standards of abortion clinics, which will put women’s health in danger. That is extreme,” the message read.
The e-mail ends with a plea from Jackson: “We need to raise $20,000 before Sunday’s deadline. Can you help me out today with a donation of $25, $50, or even $100?”
Jackson, a Chesapeake minister who is running against Ralph S Northam, a state senator from Norfolk, has raised eyebrows for some of his previous comments, including saying Planned Parenthood has been more devastating to African Americans than the Ku Klux Klan, and telling black Christians to end their “slavish devotion” to the Democratic Party.
On the stump, Jackson has largely campaigned on a message of restoring liberty and freedom to Virginia, but has outlined few specifics as to how he would govern if elected.
According to the latest campaign finance disclosure totals, Jackson has raised about $248,000. Northam has raised more than $1.5 million.
“If E.W. Jackson wants to see an extreme agenda, he should look at his own,” said Northam campaign manager Brad Komar. “He may try to run from his past statements . . . and criticize Senator Northam for supporting Governor McDonnell’s bipartisan transportation law that made historic investments in Virginia. Ralph Northam is a respected legislator who has proven he works with Democrats, Republicans, and independents to always put Virginia families first.”
Both men are seeking to replace outgoing Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling (R), who presides over an evenly divided Senate and is the tie-breaking vote in the chamber. At times Bolling has come down along partisan lines, but he also broke with GOP senators on legislation about redistricting, voting and Medicaid.