RICHMOND, Va. — Vice President Mike Pence will be campaigning in southwest Virginia this week with Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie.

Gillespie spokesman David Abrams says Pence and Gillespie will appear at a rally Saturday in Abingdon. It will be Pence’s first campaign event for Gillespie, a former Republican National Committee chairman who is facing Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam.

The race is one of only two off-year gubernatorial contests in November, and it’s being viewed as a possible early referendum on President Donald Trump’s first year in office and a preview of the 2018 midterm elections.

Pence’s visit will come about a week after Trump weighed in on the race for the first time. The president took to Twitter to criticize Northam and urge voters to support Gillespie.