President Donald Trump introduced himself into the Virginia gubernatorial race in a tweet Thursday night with an endorsement for Republican candidate Ed Gillespie and accused Democratic contender Ralph Northam of "fighting for" the MS-13 gang and "sanctuary cities."

"Ralph Northam, who is running for Governor of Virginia, is fighting for the violent MS-13 killer gangs & sanctuary cities," Trump tweeted.

Northam's campaign reacted to Trump's comments in a statement firing back at his GOP contender Ed Gillespie.

"They both want to cut funding to education, roll back healthcare, and divide Virginians for political gains. Looks like Ed Gillespie’s ads are reaching his target audience - Donald Trump," Northam campaign spokesperson David Turner told the Hill.

Born Sept. 13, 1959, Northam grew up on the Eastern Shore, Virginia and worked on the Chesapeake Bay, before he attended Virginia Military Institute, where he was President of the Honor Court.

He graduated from Eastern Virginia Medical School and served eight years active duty in the Army and rose to the rank of Major. Ralph has also practiced pediatric neurology at Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters in Norfolk and he serves as Assistant Professor of Neurology at Eastern Virginia Medical School and is said to have 17 years of volunteering service as Medical Director for the Edmarc Hospice for Children in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, according to his biography on the official website of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Northam served as a State Senator from 2008 to 2013 and has been responsible for several major legislative accomplishments such as the prohibition on smoking inside restaurants and more.

He was elected as Lieutenant Governor on Nov. 5, 2013, and presides over the Senate since then. Northam currently lives in Norfolk with his wife, who is a longtime Elementary School teacher and presently works for local conservation organization Lynnhaven River Now. the couple has two children.

Trump’s tweet on Thursday accusing Northam of supporting the gang, which the administration has sought to crack down, came following the release of a public poll by the Washington Post-Schar School poll which found Northam was leading with a 13-point edge over his opponent in a three-way race.

Fifty-three percent of likely voters said in the poll they would support Northam in a race between him, Gillespie and Libertarian candidate Cliff Hyra.

Northam also responded to Trump's tweet himself with a tweet linking to a donation page. 

Gillespie also made accusations at his opponent earlier in September when he started rolling out ads that tried to associate Northam to MS-13 gang violence and also attacked his support for so-called "sanctuary cities," according to the Washington Post.

Gillespie had been criticized as his claims were proved wrong and were labeled "misleading" by the non-partisan FactCheck.org. Trump's tweet on Thursday also appeared to be the same lines.

The Democratic Governors Association said the endorsement by the president should come as no surprise.

"The facts are clear: Ed Gillespie will not stand up to Donald Trump on policies that harm Virginians," said Jared Leopold, a spokesman for the Democratic Governors Association. "Now that Gillespie has Trump’s official endorsement, we look forward to seeing them proudly campaign together this month," the Washington Post reported.