Tom Perriello endorses Sawyers for Democratic nomination to unseat Republican U.S. Rep. Rob Wittman (Prince William Times)

Still, Perriello’s endorsement could have an early impact as party activists begin to shift their attention to the spring primary, according to Stephen J. Farnsworth, a professor of political science and international affairs at the University of Mary Washington.

“A lot of Democratic primary voters will care a great deal about what Tom Perriello thinks about candidates for office in 2018. Among the activists who will vote in the June primary, his voice speaks volumes,” Farnsworth wrote in an email Tuesday.

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