American Federation of Teachers endorses Ralph Northam for governor

American Federation of Teachers local presidents Tina Williams of the Fairfax County Federation of Teachers, Thomas Calhoun of the Norfolk Federation of Teachers, and Jeion Ward of the Hampton Federation of Teachers, released the following statement after endorsing Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam for governor of Virginia.

ralph northam“Ralph Northam has been a fighter and public servant his entire life. As a doctor and a veteran, he has shown he is willing to sacrifice for and help others. Now more than ever, we need a fighter leading our great commonwealth, building on the good work that Gov. Terry McAuliffe has done over the past 3 ½ years. Northam’s record proves that he will be an advocate for working families, public education and our communities. His robust education plan includes expanding early childhood education and promoting wraparound services so kids’ social and emotional needs can be met, and he is adamant about attracting, retaining and supporting educators throughout Virginia, so they can continue to provide high-quality public education to every child in every classroom. We are proud to endorse Lt. Gov. Northam, and as AFT leaders in Virginia, we will stand by him throughout his campaign.”

AFT President Randi Weingarten added the following about Northam: “When it comes to who will stand up for working folks and public education in Virginia, the choice couldn’t be clearer. While Lt. Gov. Northam has spent his entire career working on behalf of the people of Virginia to create good jobs, strengthen public schools and create opportunity, Ed Gillespie is a corporate lobbyist who has accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars from Betsy DeVos and her family and is pushing the same anti-public education agenda to turn education into a commodity and profit off kids. AFT members have worked side by side with Northam and Gov. McAuliffe to invest in our schools and make life better for children and families across the commonwealth, and we will work tirelessly to ensure he is the next governor of Virginia.”

Lt. Gov. Northam added, “It’s an honor to have the support of Virginia’s teachers. Every child in Virginia deserves access to a high-quality education—that’s why we need to invest in the development and retention of our teachers. That’s what I’ll do as governor. I’m a proud product of public schools, and, as governor, I’ll fight to ensure they have the support and resources necessary to prepare our students for a bright, successful future.”


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