When the Republican State Central Committee flipped from a convention to a primary next year, state Senator Frank Wagner jumped into the race for Governor. Wagner is a moderate Republican who is described this way by Quentin Kidd, director of the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University,
“He (Wagner) comes from the wing of the party that benefits from having a primary over a convention. His is the kind of country club, chamber of commerce wing that is more economically focused, and he may be trying to kind of read the tea leaves and say (the party) may be ready for a message about a different kind of candidate.”
Senator Wagner knew he had little chance at a convention but may have a chance in a primary. Also running for Governor is Ed Gillespie previous Chairman of RNC and candidate for Senator in 2014. Prince William County Board of Supervisors chairman Corey Stewart is another candidate for Governor. Stewart is currently chairman of the Trump campaign in Virginia and becoming more well known across the state. The fourth candidate is Congressman Rob Wittman of Virginia’s First District.
One of these candidates will face democrat Lt. Governor Ralph Northam, the only declared democrat candidate for Governor in 2017.
Ed Gillespie is currently well ahead of his opponents in fundraising having over a million dollars in his PAC.