Democratic Party lieutenant governor nominee Ralph Northam today criticized Republican opponent E.W. Jackson for opposing pay equity.
The criticism is based on a May interview in which Jackson said equal pay measures “add nothing to the dignity and equality of women. In fact, it may make some businesses leery of hiring women for fear of the litigation that may eventually result.”
“I committed to supporting legislation promoting equal pay for equal work, because no Virginian should be discriminated against in the workplace,” said Northam, a state senator. “My daughter just graduated from college and got her first job; it would be unfair for her to make less than her male counterparts doing the same work. Equal pay is about opportunity and making sure that women have the same opportunities as men in our Commonwealth. I will remain committed to closing the wage gap.”
The Jackson campaign responded with a press statement vaguely blasting Northam for an “empty record” in the State Senate.
“I am committed to the real issues facing Virginia’s families. And while Ralph Northam may try to talk a good game on issues he feels are vital to the people of the Commonwealth, his record in the Virginia Senate, or lack thereof, tells a different story,” Jackson said.
“What Northam currently calls ‘commonsense legislation’ is something he has not taken the time to address by sponsoring a single relevant bill during his five years in the Virginia Senate. Instead, Northam’s record is one of standing against better health standards for women’s clinics and for an extreme social agenda that does nothing to put Virginians back to work,” Jackson said.
State Sen. Toddy Puller, D-Mount Vernon, a co-chair of the Women for Northam Coalition, said the Jackson agenda for women would make it harder for women in the workforce.
“His opposition to commonsense legislation like pay equity underscores just how far outside of the mainstream he truly is,” Puller said. “I am proud to support Ralph Northam because he will work to close the wage gap that exists between men and women.”