The race has been framed as a reboot of the Bernie Sanders-Hillary Clinton contest, but the comparison is not a ideal fit. He said the election was "too close to call". Northam had the support of the state Democratic Party's core constituencies, including teachers groups and African-American political and religious leaders. He has also vowed to fight Trump, but with pledges to work with state Republican lawmakers on issues like a tax overhaul.
"I think that people are, maybe fingers crossed, recognizing the importance of primaries, that we need to be getting involved at this level", Peters said.
"Is all of this protest energy going to turn into votes at the polls, or is this something where we've figured out how to march every weekend but not quite how to march to the polls", said Perriello, who is backed by prominent national Democrats like U.S. Sens.
Perriello joined the race as resistance to the Trump agenda began to boom, and promised on the stump to make Virginia a bulwark against it. He energized many new-to-politics voters who oppose Trump and promised to support a grab-bag of progressive policies, like raising taxes on the wealthy, using public funds for political campaigns or mandating union membership.
With almost 90 percent of the ballots counted, Gillespie was leading in Virginia's gubernatorial primary by a less than 1 percent margin over Republican rival Corey Stewart in a race that appeared headed to a likely recount. But then Perriello, a one-term congressman who lost in the 2010 GOP wave, threw his hat into the race in January, running on a very anti-Trump, clearly progressive platform.
3 women found dead at Ohio home
The victims were identified as 18-year-old Kylie Pifer , 21-year-old Taylor Pifer and their mother, Suzanne Taylor , Loeding said. Media and civilian bystanders gather outside the police blockade on Valley Forge Drive in Brunswick, Ohio .
Associated Press reporters Ben Finley in Norfolk and Alanna Durkin Richer in Richmond contributed to this report. Virginia, once a Republican bulwark in presidential polls, has gone Democratic in three straight elections. Thanks in large part to aggressive gerrymandering in the Virginia House of Delegates, I will get to choose between total Republican dominance of my home state or gridlock.
On the Republican side, Edward Gillespie was in a neck-and-neck race with Corey Stewart Tuesday night - with Frank Wagner trailing distantly.
Northam will face Ed Gillespie in the general election.
While the Democrats largely varied in style and tone, the two candidates still overlapped on many policy positions.
The polls on the Democratic side of the aisle have been all over the place.
That's the type of enthusiasm Democrats have been banking on to build a midterm election backlash to Trump, and the 2017 Virginia race will be a critical test of whether or not they can do that.
Perriello ratcheted up attacks on Trump ahead of Tuesday's vote, calling the primary the "firewall against the hate and bigotry of the administration".