Has Made Clear He Would Support Efforts to Repeal Right to Work Laws If Given Democratic Majority in the General Assembly
In an sit-down interview with Inside Nova, Democratic gubernatorial nominee Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam made clear yesterday that he is “confident” Democrats are going win a majority in the General Assembly this November, effectively clearing a path to repeal Virginia’s long-standing Right to Work laws (Inside Nova, 10/13/17). During the Democratic primary, Northam bragged about defeating the Right to Work constitutional amendment and inferred that he would, given a Democratic majority in the General Assembly, seek to also overturn Virginia’s existing Right to Work laws. Now, he apparently believes such a majority, and therefore such a dramatic policy change, is within reach.
Moderator: “This is a right to work state. In the past, even Governor Terry McAuliffe has said he would not try to change that law. Would you?”
Ralph Northam: “Well first of all I want to congratulate labor tonight for helping to defeat the constitutional amendment this past year…you all deserve a tremendous deal of credit for doing that. As far as a constitutional amendment, we don’t need that, and I stood up and I traveled around the Commonwealth of Virginia and helped to fight that as well. I think also we have to be realistic in Virginia, what we can get done with our current legislature. I think rather than pick fights that we perhaps can’t win right now, we need to talk about how can we help labor, how can we help with PLA’s, which are project labor agreements. Those are very important to labor and unions right now.” (Democratic Primary Debate, 5/9/17)
“Virginia’s economy is stuck. We must restore it to one of the best states in the country for business,” said Ed Gillespie. “Some issues should unite us: support for Virginia’s Right to Work laws is one of them, but the Lieutenant Governor disagrees. His confidence that the Democrats will take back the General Assembly amplifies the critical choice in this election. Lieutenant Governor Northam is out of step with Virginia’s job creators, and will not stand up for our Right to Work laws. I will protect them and continue to put forward substantive policies to to grow our economy.”
Northam has continuously campaigned with candidates running for the Assembly who support repealing Virginia’s right to work laws, including Lee Carter, who in September tweeted out a video of his campaign shredding a questionnaire from the National Right to Work Committee. (Twitter, 9/21/17)