Gov.-elect Northam starts 2018 with 5K, shares goals for 1st year

MIDLOTHIAN, Va. (WRIC) — To start the year, about 400 people layered up and set off for the First Day 5K in Midlothian.

It’s a Jan. 1 tradition for the Richmond Road Runners Club. The group’s president said the cold weather wasn’t going to hold them back.

“Runners are crazy, but in a good way,” Ralph Gibbs said. “Not many things will stop them from doing a run that they signed up for or a training run that they need to get in.”

Gov.-elect Ralph Northam spent the majority of the last year and a half running a campaign but took time Monday to run the 5K.

“When they invited me, I didn’t know it was going to be 23 degrees out here,” he joked.

Northam is prepping for another big start — his term in office. His inauguration is Jan. 13.

“It’s just a privilege to be elected by Virginians to serve as the 73rd governor,” he said.

As he sets out on this journey, his focus is the same as it was on the campaign trail.

“We want to keep the economy doing well in Virginia, want to make sure that everybody has access to a good job no matter who you are, no matter where you are, want to make sure our children have access to a world-class education and make sure that all Virginians have access to affordable and quality health care,” Northam said. “If I can get those things done in the first year, I’ll be very content.”

But one big question remains as the year begins. Who will control Virginia’s House of Delegates?

A State Board of Elections meeting scheduled for Thursday could determine whether Republicans hold on to the majority or they have to share power with Democrats.

No matter the winner, Northam said he’s ready to work.

“I believe in the Virginia way and that is bringing people to the table. We can agree to disagree, but at the end of the day, we want to do what’s in the best interest of Virginia,” he said. “I’ve reached out to legislators on both sides of the aisle and I think we’re going to get off to a great start and get some great things done in Virginia this year.”

The first day of the General Assembly session is Jan. 10.

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