The Republican Governors Association handled all the opposition research for Ed Gillespie when he ran unsuccessfully for governor of Virginia against Democrat Ralph Northam in 2017.
Following Gillespie’s primary win, the RGA’s opposition research team gave the campaign an opposition research book on Northam, but Northam’s medical school yearbook photo showing a man in blackface and another in a KKK outfit (shown below) wasn’t there.
Ray Zaborney of Red Maverick Media, who did not work on the opposition research side of the Gillespie 2017 campaign, told Penn Live that the RGA is expected to take full responsibility for not finding the offensive photo and release a statement.
“Obviously, everyone would have liked to have found the photo,” he said.“This would have been nice to have. There’s no question about it and it’s really frustrating,” one individual with knowledge of the campaign indicated to The Daily Caller. However, Northam’s Democrat primary opponents Tom Perriello and Justin Fairfax (Fairfax later became Northam’s running mate in the general election), did not acquire the racist photo either from their own opposition research teams.
Another source with knowledge of the election confirmed that only the RGA and no other consulting firm was hired to do opposition research for the Gillespie campaign.
President Donald Trump tweeted his criticism on Sunday regarding the Gillespie campaign’s opposition research effort against Northam.
Ed Gillespie, who ran for Governor of the Great State of Virginia against Ralph Northam, must now be thinking Malpractice and Dereliction of Duty with regard to his Opposition Research Staff. If they find that terrible picture before the election, he wins by 20 points!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 3, 2019
The Daily Caller reached out to the RGA multiple times since Saturday for comment on their opposition research operations on Northam back in 2017 and is waiting for a response.
Additionally, Northam’s previous opponents never found the photo and he has been in elected office since 2007.
High-ranking Democrat lawmakers and officials have reached out to Gov. Northam calling on him to resign after his yearbook page surfaced and Northam delivered a bizarre press conference about the matter in Richmond on Saturday afternoon. (RELATED: Ralph Northam Denies Being In Racist Photo, Admits To Putting ‘Shoe Polish’ On His Face For Michael Jackson Impersonation)
Northam, as of Sunday afternoon, has refused to resign from office.
Kerry Picket is a host on SiriusXM Patriot 125