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Mayor backs Aneesh Chopra for Virginia lieutenant governor's post

Washington, June 1 (IANS) The mayor of the city of Richmond has come out openly in support of an Indian American Democrat who is running for the post of lieutenant governor of the US state of Virginia.

Mayor Dwight C. Jones is urging voters to vote for Aneesh P. Chopra, one of two Democrats, in the June 11 Democratic primary for the post of lieutenant governor of Virginia in automated calls being made in Chopra’s campaign, the Richmond Times Despatch reported Saturday.

“I am supporting Aneesh because as a former resident, Aneesh knows the wonderful things our city has to offer and is committed to making sure that we protect the James river, create jobs to get Richmonders back to work, and make sure that all of our children have an equal opportunity to succeed,” Jones was quoted as saying in his message.

Chopra is a former technology secretary in Virginia and had also served as chief technology officer of the US under president Barack Obama.

After Chopra had quit the US chief technology officer post to run for Virginia lieutenant governor, Obama had said that Chopra’s “legacy of leadership and innovation will benefit Americans for years to come”.

In a statement, mayor Jones said that he knew that Chopra shared his vision for creating jobs and building a sustainable economy though investments in education and workforce development.

“I can appreciate his commitment to building an economy that invests in the jobs of the future,” Jones said.

“I am honoured to have the endorsement of mayor Jones of Richmond and other mayors and former mayors from across the Commonwealth,” Chopra was quoted as saying.

The state of Virginia is also called the Commonwealth of Virginia.

“As I travel across Virginia, it’s clear that people want to turn the page on divisive politics and instead focus on solutions to our biggest challenges. I am excited to work with Mayor Jones and elected officials across Virginia to move us all forward,” Chopra said.

In the June 11 primary, Chopra faces fellow Democrat Ralph S. Northam, a state senator from Norfolk.

The winner will face Republican candidate E.W. Jackson in November this year.

The Virginia lieutenant governor is a constitutional post and is elected every four years along with the governor and the attorney-general of the state.

The governor and lieutenant governor are elected separately and hence can be of different.

The lieutenant governor is the first in the line of succession if the governor dies.

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