Perriello Blames Low Minimum Wage in Virginia on a 'Gerrymandered Legislature'

June 1, 2017

Tom Perriello, a Democratic candidate for governor in Virginia, said Wednesday that a "gerrymandered legislature" is to blame for his state's low minimum wage and stagnant wages for the middle class.

"You have to understand the middle class has not seen a raise in 18 years in Virginia," Perriello said on MSNBC. "We have a minimum wage below West Virginia's at $14,000 a year. We're near the bottom of the barrel on clean energy because the utilities have too much power in Richmond."

The gubernatorial candidate did not note that Virginia's median income growth increased by two percent in 2015.

Perriello argued that many Democratic and third-party voters are excited about his reform agenda, adding that he is looking toward the future, not the past.

Host Chuck Todd cut him off and pointed out that Democrats have governed Virginia for 12 of the last 16 years.

"Why do you think they were unsuccessful in getting the middle class erased?" Todd asked.

"The number one reason is the gerrymandered legislature that doesn't represent the voters of Virginia," Perriello said. "My likely opponent, Ed Gillespie, his lobbying firm wrote the algorithm that gerrymandered the districts so that voters don't get represented; instead their corporate lobbying clients do."

He added the middle class wants a fair playing field and that he will veto any gerrymandering efforts if he is elected governor.

Perriello did not mention that Democrats helped redraw the state map in 2011 when they held the majority in the Senate. They lost their majority in November 2011, however, after their electoral gains were not as successful as they hoped, the Huffington Post reported at the time.

Peter Rousselot, the immediate past chairman of the Arlington County Democratic Committee, penned a post-mortem analysis of what went wrong for his party on Blue Virginia.


Rousselot said a combination of a "flawed, hyper-partisan Senate redistricting plan combined with very poor candidate recruitment" ultimately undermined the party's chances to hold its ground in Richmond.