Northam, Dems win decisive victory in Virginia

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Democrat Ralph Northam led Democrats to a decisive 54%-45% win over Republican candidate Ed Gillespie, hanging onto the Virginia Governor’s office for another four years and dealing a blow to GOP hopes that President Trump’s coattails would benefit their slate.

“Virginia, we have witnessed yet another Democratic sweep today,” Northam said, noting Democrats’ similar victory in New Jersey, where Democrat Phil Murphy defeated Republican Kim Guadagno to seize the governor’s office. Northam said his win proved that Virginia “will not condone hatred and bigotry.”

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesperson Jacob Peters said the results “echo what we have seen in every election in 2017: the enthusiasm behind Democrats is absolutely off the charts, and the establishment Republican brand is producing a powerful backlash at the polls.

“Virginia is a true battlefield, and Governor-elect Ralph Northam and down-ballot candidates in every corner of the Commonwealth rode an overwhelming surge of Democratic grassroots energy to victory,” he said. “Voters have seen the Republican agenda in action – including efforts to rip away healthcare from millions of Americans and hike premiums and taxes on middle class families – and they are rejecting it outright. This energy and passion is only going to pick up speed as we head towards 2018.”

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said Virginians had “elected a champion for decency and fairness.”

“Voters delivered a strong rebuke to the dirty, fear-mongering campaign run by Gillespie and Donald Trump to divide people so they could push their anti-worker, anti-immigrant, anti-public education agenda across the state,” Weingarten said. “Virginians made clear they want a governor who will stand with working folks to ensure good jobs, great neighborhood public schools and affordable healthcare, and who will work to make Virginia a safe and welcoming place for all who call it home.”

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James R. Hood

James R. Hood is the editor and publisher of FairfaxNews.com. A former Associated Press editor and executive, he has more than 50 years of reporting experience.