Nearly every political expert believes that Democrats have a depleted bench of prospective 2020 candidates for president. Progressives, on the other hand, think now is the time to grow the party in the direction of Bernie Sanders, which makes former Congressman Tom Perriello is just the man for the job.
The former Congressman announced on Wednesday that he would be running for governor in Virginia in 2017, reported The New York Times.
From 2008 to 2010, Perriello was a Congressman from a rural Republican district, who both campaigned and governed as a progressive, supporting Obamacare early on.
Perriello will be challenging Lt. Gov. Ralph S. Northam, an establishment Democrat who until now was the only candidate in the primary. Progressives are licking their chops at the idea of defeating an establishment figure, especially after Bernie Sanders lost to Hillary Clinton last spring.
I like @tomperriello. I look forward to learning more about his campaign.— deray mckesson (@deray) January 5, 2017
Entire Dem establishment is lined up w/Northam but Perriello is a favorite of the grassroots, a rural Dem w/strongest progressive record— Lee Fang (@lhfang) January 5, 2017
Tom Perriello is one of the best human beings I have ever known and I love the idea that he could be my governor someday soon.— Ian Millhiser (@imillhiser) January 5, 2017
There were several reports that establishment figures were furious at Perriello for shaking up the race and opening up old wounds between Democrats and their base.
“He’s got a better chance of flapping his wings and flying to the moon than getting within 50 points of that nomination,” said state Senate Minority Leader Richard L. Saslaw (D-Fairfax) to The Washington Post. “I’ve heard of some harebrained things, but this takes the cake.”
Progressives realize that the few diehard left-wingers they have in their field are either too old, unknown, or unlikely to run for higher office and possibly challenge Donald Trump in 2020.
Being in his early 40’s with both domestic and foreign policy experience, Perriello would be one of the best candidates left-wing advocates could dream of putting in a critical swing state like Virginia.
In five months, the primary could show nationwide activists and DNC leaders where they’re going in a post-Clinton, post-Obama Democratic Party.