Valerie Jarrett, who served as a senior adviser to former President Barack Obama for the duration of his presidency, endorsed former Rep. Tom Perriello in Virginia?s hotly contested Democratic gubernatorial primary race.
Jarrett made the announcement on Twitter on Saturday, praising Perriello?s vote for the Affordable Care Act as a freshman congressman from a conservative district in central Virginia. Perriello went on to lose his reelection bid amid a backlash to the law that fueled a Republican takeover of the House of Representatives.
The Perriello campaign confirmed that the tweet represented an official endorsement of his candidacy.
Jarrett was a close confidante of Obama?s from Chicago long before he became president. She joined Obama in lobbying Democratic National Committee members to elect former Labor Secretary Tom Perez as chairman in his close, but successful race against Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison in February.
The endorsement is a significant pickup for Perriello, who has cast himself as the progressive favorite in his battle for the nomination against sitting Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam. Northam has the support of virtually the entire Democratic establishment in Virginia and was viewed as a shoo-in until Perriello jumped into the race in January.
This story is developing. Check back for updates.
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