Virginia Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor Ralph Northam is drawing criticism after appearing to refuse to shake the hand of Republican opponent E.W. Jackson on Thursday.
"I was happy to have an opportunity last night to sit with my opponent and Les Smith at NewsChannel 3 to discuss the issues in this race," Jackson said in an email to supporters Friday. "But I was disappointed when, after he focused so much on what divides us, Ralph Northam refused to even shake my hand."
After the debate concluded on WTKR, Jackson can be seen extending his hand to Northram. The Democratic candidate, staring straight ahead, appears to ignore it.
Jackson then taps Northram on the leg with his open hand, in one final attempt to shake his hand. His opponent can be seen on video continuing to ignore his efforts.
"As lieutenant governor, I will work on behalf of ALL Virginians, even some I do not see eye to eye on every issue," Jackson said. "Even if we agree to disagree, we will always part as friends and colleagues, with a handshake and respect."
"They can refuse to shake our hands," he continued. "But they can not change what is in our hearts and what we know is an honest fight on the values that matter the most to Virginians."
A spokesperson for Northam did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheBlaze.
Watch video of the incident (around the 6:30 mark):
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