"Sanders pointed to Tom's bold agenda to raise the minimum wage to a living wage of $15 an hour, oppose fracked gas pipelines, and reject corporate contributions from big utilities as examples of Tom's willingness to take on a broken system on behalf of working families" according to the press release sent out by Perriello's office.
Sanders said, "We need to elect progressives at every level of government if we are going to beat back the dangerous agenda of the Trump Administration and its Republican allies. Now more than ever we need people in elected office who will fight for middle-income and working families. That's why I am so pleased today to endorse Tom Perriello for Governor of Virginia ... Tom is committed to fighting the rigged economy and income inequality. He was the first major statewide candidate in Virginia to run on a $15 minimum wage and the first to say two years of community college should be tuition-free. He is standing up to fossil fuel corporations and special interests in opposing two fracked gas pipelines that would cut across Virginia. He thrust criminal justice reform and ending our school-to-prison pipeline to the forefront of the race. At a time when the Trump Administration and Congressional Republicans are fighting to destroy the Affordable Care Act, Tom is one who fought hard for its passage when he was a member of Congress. He is a committed progressive who will stand up for working families in Richmond."
Ten Sanders DNC delegates backed Perriello in March, noting "Tom understands the importance of resisting Trump and the Republican Party's extreme policies and is fighting for and standing with our brothers and sisters under attack by this administration, including women, immigrants and refugees, communities of color, and the LGBTQ community. He's been there on the frontlines with us protesting in the streets and at the airports and we know he'll fight for us every single day as our next Governor."
Perriello has also been endorsed by John Podesta.
Perriello said, "Bernie Sanders has spent his career fighting for working families against a rigged system " We need to unite the Democratic Party behind an agenda of inclusive economic growth, that leaves no community, race, or region behind. That starts with raising wages, taking on corporate consolidation in the economy, and making two years of community college debt-free. Bernie has electrified a movement of Americans ready to take on our biggest challenges, including inequality and corruption, and I'm proud to have his support in my campaign."
Henry Waxman wrote, "one of my colleagues stuck out because he never made an excuse when it came time to take the tough votes: Representative Tom Perriello. Perriello, who is now a candidate for Virginia Governor in the June 13 Democratic primary, faced a tougher political landscape than most. He squeaked into office from Virginia's conservative Fifth Congressional District by a smaller margin -- 727 votes -- than any other Member of Congress elected that year. Nonetheless, he was always willing to vote his conscience, even when it meant taking on the powerful corporate interests that were willing to spend millions of dollars to undermine his candidacy."
Virginia is the only state with a constitution that prohibits its Governor from serving consecutive terms. Therefore, incumbent Governor, Democrat Terry McAuliffe, is not eligible to run for re-election. The open primary elections (in which registered voters are allowed to vote in only one party's primary election) will take place on June 13, 2017.