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Ralph Northam Elected Virginia Governor; Other Dems Win as Well

Ralph and Pam Northam
Ralph Northam and wife Pam

Democrats also won the races for lieutenant governor and attorney general.

True

LGBT-supportive Democrat Ralph Northam has won the race for Virginia governor.

NBC News called the race for Northam with 65 percent of the vote in and much of the remainder to come from the northern, more liberal part of the state. Northam had 51 percent of the vote and Republican Ed Gillespie 48 percent, and Northam's lead was expected to increase as the northern Virginia votes came in..By the time 99 percent of the vote was counted, his lead was up to nine ponts, 54 percent to 45 percent.

"Both national parties spent millions of dollars in the first major election since President Donald Trump's surprise victory last year and were closely watching the outcome as an early barometer of the political climate ahead of next year's midterm elections," NBC News reports.

Northam, a former physician, had been lieutenant governor under Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who was prevented by term limits from running again. He was likely helped by McAuliffe's popularity and the state's strong economy, NBC News notes.

Northam was endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign, and he promised that to be "a brick wall against the discrimination of the Trump Administration." He is a strong LGBT rights supporter and has progressive positions on reproductive rights, health care, and more. In his victory speech, he praised the state's diversity as a source of strength.

Gillespie, a former Republican National Committee chair, has a long record of opposing LGBT rights and supporting conservative causes. In the 1990s he helped craft the Republican Party's far-right "Contract With America." In the gubernatorial campaign he took hard-right terms on immigration and maintaining Confederate monuments in Virginia.

Democrats running for the other two statewide offices in Virgina have also won, according to NBC: Justin Fairfax for lieutenant governor and Mark Herring for attorney general.

Also, Democrat Phil Murphy defeated Republican Kim Guadagno to become New Jersey's next governor, replacing unpopular Republican and failed presidential candidate Chris Christie.

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