WASHINGTON — Of the three jurisdictions vying for the next Washington Redskins stadium, only Virginia has a change in governor this election cycle, which could have a meaningful impact on negotiations.
On the one side is current Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam (D) who vowed to continue the aggressive campaigning of incumbent Governor Terry McAuliffe in his discussion with the Washington Business Journal.
Northam, a native of Onancock, Va., on the Delmarva Peninsula, describes himself as a “lifelong burgundy and gold fan.”
“I will continue Governor McAuliffe’s aggressive pursuit of landing the next Redskins stadium here in Virginia,” Northan said. “I oppose public subsidies because all too often the return on investment for Virginia is never realized.
“I think there are other creative ways the state can play a role in incentivizing the team to come to Virginia, and I’d certainly support that approach.”
On the other side is Ed Gillespie (R), who took a more measured approach.
Gillespie is a D.C. area transplant, originally from New Jersey in the suburbs of Philadelphia. He is an Eagles fan but reportedly cheers for the Redskins in any game where they aren’t playing his team.
In fact, when he ran for the U.S. Senate in Virginia in 2014, he attacked opponent Mark Warner (D) on his stance, at the time, about the Redskins’ name. Gillespie argued against changing the name but lost that election.
Now, with negotiations on the team’s next home venue likely to be decided during this term in office, Gillespie is focusing on economics.
“Job creation and economic growth will be top priorities for me,” Gillespie told the Washington Business Journal. “I am skeptical of public subsidies for professional stadiums.
“But if we can generate jobs and revenue with no loss to the taxpayers, I would love to see the Redskins play in Virginia.”
As of the time of publishing, RealClearPolitics has Northam ahead in the polls by an average of 3.6 percent.