Northam Wins, Blue Wave Hits Down Ballot in Virginia

Nov 8, 2017

Governor-Elect Ralph Northam and Republican Challenger Ed Gillespie
Credit official photos

Democrat Ralph Northam swept to victory by a margin of 53 percent for 45 percent over his Republican challenger Ed Gillespie in yesterday’s gubernatorial election in Virginia

After an acrimonious race the Democrat told supporters last night that he will seek to be a healer of divisions and political rancor when he takes office.

Northam said in his victory speech that the eyes of the nation were on Virginia on Election Tuesday.

He said that voters had told political leaders to end the divisiveness and bigotry.

Northam also praised the state's growing diversity and said he would work to make the state more inclusive. "Our lights will be on, our doors will be open," he said.

His victory marks the first time that an Eastern Shore Virginia native has won the governorship.

Democrat Justin Fairfax has been elected Virginia's next lieutenant governor while Attorney General Mark Herring won reelection.

Meanwhile, Democrats nearly erased Republicans' overwhelming majority in the Virginia House of Delegates, with a handful of races still too close to call that will decide control of the body.

Democrats on Tuesday picked up at least 13 of the 17 seats they'd need to retake the chamber for the first time in two decades.

All 100 House seats were up for grabs.

Tramp Reax to Gillespie Loss

President Donald Trump
Credit campaign photo

President Donald Trump is distancing himself from defeated Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie.

Trump is addressing the disappointing result in a race seen as an early referendum on his political clout. He writes on Twitter that Gillespie "worked hard but did not embrace me or what I stand for." Gillespie largely tried to maintain his distance from Trump on the campaign trail.

Trump recorded robocalls to help boost Gillespie's candidacy on Election Day. In one call, Trump said Gillespie shared his views on immigration and crime and would help "Make America Great Again."

On what is shaping up to be a difficult night for Republicans, Trump is touting GOP victories earlier this year, writing, "With the economy doing record numbers, we will continue to win, even bigger than before!"

Transgender

Danica Roem
Credit campaign photo

A transgender woman has unseated one of Virginia's most socially conservative lawmakers to become the first openly transgender member of the House of Delegates.

Democrat Danica Roem beat Republican incumbent Bob Marshall in Tuesday's election in the northern Virginia district near the nation's capital.

Marshall has served in the House since 1992 and has been a lightning rod for controversy. He has often drawn the ire of even his own party.

Roem is a former journalist. She will make history as the first openly transgender person elected and then seated in a state legislature. But her gender identity wasn't a key part of her campaign. Instead, she focused on jobs, schools and northern Virginia's traffic congestion.