Virginia Democrat Wins Race For Governor, Handing GOP First Major Loss Under Trump

    Democrats are “breathing a sigh of relief,” a Virginia politics expert says.

    By Daniel Marans


    Democrat Ralph Northam defeated Republican Ed Gillespie in Virginia’s gubernatorial election Tuesday, granting Democrats their first major victory, and Republicans their first big loss, since the election of President Donald Trump.

    The stakes of the closely fought race were especially high for Democrats, who were desperate to hold on to a governorship in a state with a popular Democratic governor and where Hillary Clinton defeated Trump by 5 percentage points in 2016.

    The outcome provides rank-and-file Democrats with a much-needed injection of optimism, averting the catastrophic scenario of another crucial loss.

    It also deals a blow to the Trump-like right-wing populist playbook that Gillespie employed in his bid to win.

    “Democrats were anxious all along, at the very end, about whether this thing would go their way, whether their core vote would turn out for them. And it did. It turned out just enough to give them a close win,” said Quentin Kidd, a political science professor at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia. “They’re breathing a sigh of relief.”


    WIN MCNAMEE/GETTY IMAGES Democrat Ralph Northam defeated Republican Ed Gillespie in the nation’s closest watched election on Tuesday.

    Northam had held a modest advantage in an average of major polls on Election Day. But the wide variation in individual polls toward the end of the contest spooked many Democrats who had anticipated a more certain victory.

    Northam, 58, a pediatric neurologist and the current lieutenant governor, ran a mainstream Democratic campaign that emphasized his all-American biography. Northam is a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute who served as an Army doctor during Operation Desert Storm before establishing a practice in southeast Virginia’s Hampton Roads region.

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    Northam campaigned on continuing the work of Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), who has presided over sustained economic growth and restored the voting rights of 168,000 former felons.

    Northam also proposed increasing public school funding, providing tuition-free community college education in key areas of study for students who pledge a year of service, and using Affordable Care Act funds to expand Medicaid.

    Given the reality of ongoing Republican control of Virginia’s House of Delegates, however, Northam is more likely to follow in McAuliffe’s footsteps as a “brick wall” against socially conservative legislation introduced by Republican lawmakers. McAuliffe proudly vetoed more bills than any other governor in Virginia’s history, stopping efforts to restrict reproductive and voting rights and to expand handgun access.

    Northam will have the important opportunity to play a role the next time the state legislature redraws congressional and state districts in 2021. As governor, he will have the power to veto a plan submitted by the Republican legislature if he believes the makeup of the new districts is unduly partisan.

    More than any one policy outcome, however, Northam’s win delights progressives for what it denies the GOP: another vindication of Trump-like race baiting.

    Gillespie, 56, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee and a Beltway lobbyist, once embodied the socially moderate, fiscally conservative establishment wing of the Republican Party. And to some extent, Gillespie maintained this profile, emphasizing economic policy on the stump, including a proposal to cut Virginia’s income tax rates by 10 percent across the board.

    But in a bid to shore up a wayward right-wing base that nearly handed populist Corey Stewart the nomination in a tough GOP primary, Gillespie embraced the Trump playbook.

    In a barrage of negative advertisements, Gillespie sought to paint Northam as a frightening radical who would enable convicted sex offenders, undocumented immigrants and members of the El Salvadoran gang MS-13 to run amok in the Old Dominion State. He also claimed that Northam wanted to take down the state’s Confederate monuments, despite Northam’s assurances that he would allow localities to decide.

    Ultimately, Gillespie’s approach scared off too many of the voters he needed to win in the increasingly Democratic-leaning state.

    “Gillespie tried to do two things: He tried to run on white identity politics and Republican economics,” Kidd said. “Republicans have to decide which of those two they’re going to run on because they probably can’t do both at same time.”

  • One win and you get all giddy?


    Backyard Commandos INC, HMFIC

    I disagree but I respect your right to be stupid.

    Winners focus on winning, losers focus on winners.

    It's hard for liberals with mental disorders to think that other people don't also have the same mental disorders. - Danneskjold 2018

  • lol

    That win is over shadow by the EPIC presidential win a year ago.

    2020, America's New Civil War.

    If people do not display wisdom, they will crash like blind moles and then mutual annihilation will commence.

    Dems: "Tell us the truth"
    Barr: "There was spying"

    you ain’t black! -Joe Biden, 2020


    Danica Roem is Va.’s first openly transgender elected official, unseating conservative in House race


    Democrat Danica Roem is Virginia’s first openly transgender elected official. (Steve Helber/AP)
    By Antonio Olivo November 7 at 8:25 PM

    Democrat Danica Roem ousted longtime incumbent Del. Robert G. Marshall (R) Tuesday, becoming the first openly transgender elected official in Virginia — and one of very few in the nation.

    The race between Roem, 33, and Marshall, 73, focused on traffic and other local issues in Prince William County but also exposed the nation’s fault lines over gender identity. It pitted a local journalist who began her physical gender transition four years ago against an outspoken social conservative who has referred to himself as Virginia’s “chief homophobe” earlier this year introduced a “bathroom bill” that died in committee.

    “For 26 years I’ve been proud to fight for you, and fight for our future,” Marshall said in a message posted on Facebook Tuesday night. “Though we all wish tonight would have turned out differently, I am deeply grateful for your support and effort over the years.

    “I’m committed to continue the fight for you, but in a different role going forward.”

    A crowd of Roem supporters inside the City Tavern in Manassas erupted when Roem’s victory was announced. They cheered even louder when Northam was projected to win the governor’s seat.

    02varoemsA.jpg?uuid=N2JhVMP-EeeZIkFR9cphaADemocrat Danica Roem greets voters Tuesday outside Gainesville Middle School in Gainesville, Va. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

    “Everything is so good tonight,” said Phyllis Hall, who spent the day canvassing for Democratic votes in the Manassas area. “The best day ever.”

    The contest was one of dozens of state legislative races where Democrats were pushing to gain ground in the Republican-majority General Assembly, buoyed by a surge of anti-Trump sentiment among Democrats and independents and hoping to provide an example for the nation of how to run in opposition to the unpopular Republican president.

    [See full Virginia election results]

    Roem outraised Marshall 3-to-1, with nearly $500,000 in donations, much of it coming from LGBT advocates and other supporters across the country. She and her supporters executed an aggressive ground game, knocking on doors more than 75,000 times in a district with 52,471 registered voters, sitting for endless public appearances and interviews, and maintaining a steady social media presence.

    Marshall, who was first elected in 1991, refused to debate Roem, kept his schedule private and declined most interview requests. But he also mounted a healthy ground game; his campaign said this week that they knocked on voters’ doors about 49,000 times this fall.

    While Roem campaigned mostly on local frustrations with traffic congestion along Route 28, she also talked about her gender identity when asked. The race took an ugly turn when Marshall and his supporters released ads highlighting Roem ’s transgender identityand referring to the Democrat with male pronouns.

    In the end, that tactic failed, with Roem leading by nearly 10 percentage points with 90 percent of the vote counted, according to preliminary, unofficial results.

    BobMarshall07.JPG?uuid=mJ2p1sO1EeeZIkFR9cphaABob Marshall smiles while voting at Signal Hill Elementary School in Manassas. (Astrid Riecken/For The Washington Post)

    “It’s kind of like Barack winning the presidential election. I’m really proud of Virginia,” said Roem voter John Coughlin, 63, a Realtor in Manassas who said he has never voted for Marshall. “I don’t care about religious issues. I don’t care about items that are big on his agenda. He should be more mainstream.”

    [Danica Roem: A policy wonk in a rainbow head scarf]

    Stephen J. Farnsworth, a political-science professor at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, said Roem’s victory “demonstrates good political instincts: not to rise to the challenge of an opponent who wanted to make this a referendum on who Roem is.”

    “Voters are far more interested in economic development and schools and transportation than they are in any cultural war in a House of Delegates district,” Farnsworth said.

    In addition to calling him “a mirror” of Trump, Roem criticized Marshall as a lawmaker more concerned with advancing his conservative agenda than with dealing with local problems such as traffic.

    That message resonated in communities along Route 28 — particularly Manassas Park, a rapidly changing area that has seen an influx of immigrants and millennials in recent years.Marshall lost there four years ago, when he defeated Democrat Atif Qarni by just 498 votes.

    Manassas Park resident Miranda Jehle, 21, said she was pleased with how Roem focused on local issues such as traffic, despite jabs by Marshall and his backers at her transgender identity.

    “I think she kept it very positive and didn’t show any negativity toward Bob Marshall,” Jehle said.

    But other voters were turned off by the historic nature of Roem’s candidacy.

    “She’s never had menstrual cramps, and she’s never had a baby, and she never will be able to,” said Marshall voter Carol Fox, a community activist in the Heritage Hunt section of Prince William, where Roem campaigned repeatedly. “She can take all the estrogen she wants but she’ll never be a woman.”

    Marshall emphasized his record of helping constituents with individual problems. But he also countered Roem’s attacks with appeals to his conservative base, helped by last-minute donations from the state Republican Party and conservative groups outside Virginia that have long supported him.

    [Del. Marshall: Conservative warrior fights to preserve ‘laws of nature’]

    A cable television ad by Marshall’s campaign questioned Roem’s moral judgment with brief footage from a five-year-old music video she appeared in with her band. A scene from the video, which did not appear fully in the ad, is suggestive of a group of people having oral sex.

    A state Republican Party flier accused Roem of “wanting transgenderism taught to kindergartners” — a reference to a radio interview in which she supported the idea of addressing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender matters in schools “in an age-appropriate manner.”

    Quentin Kidd, director of the Wason Center for Public Policy at Christopher Newport University, said Marshall may have erred in making too much of Roem’s transgender identity while refusing to participate in public-policy debates.

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    “He got put in a box on a cultural war issue, and the irony is that he’s made his living on cultural war issues,” Kidd said.

    Alexis Dimouro, 53, who voted for Marshall, said she was turned off by negativity on both sides, including attacks on Roem’s transgender identity and Roem’s characterization of Marshall as a conservative zealot out of touch with local issues.

    “Let us do the research and decide,” she said. “All of that seemed like a waste of money.”

    Ravi Perry, chairman of Virginia Commonwealth University’s political-science department, said the changing demographics make it likely that the district will remain blue in years to come, now that a long-term incumbent has been defeated.

    “This is now a very diverse, pluralistic district,” Perry said. “Roem has a real opportunity. She can bring in younger voters and new voters.”


    Democrat Phil Murphy to succeed Chris Christie as New Jersey governor


    Democrat Phil Murphy exits the booth with his youngest son, Sam, after voting at the Fairview School on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017 in Middletown, N.J. (Bob Karp/AP)
    By Amber Phillips November 7 at 8:24 PM

    Democrats took back the governor’s seat in New Jersey as first-time candidate Phil Murphy defeated Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, capping a tumultuous eight years of term-limited Republican Gov. Chris Christie leading the state.

    The party is also poised to cement its 12-year control of both houses of the state legislature, putting Democrats back in control of the entire state.

    The race was another bright spot for national Democrats, who also won a key governor’s race in Virginia where Ralph Northam defeated Republican Ed Gillespie, as the party tries to compete in as many as a dozen potentially competitive governor’s races in 2018.

    Murphy’s win wasn’t an unexpected one. The former banker and Democratic Party official had been leading Guadagno by double digits in the polls for most of the race.

    In a state that hasn’t voted for a Republican for president in almost 30 years, Guadagno struggled to get out from the shadow of two controversial Republicans: President Trump and her boss for the past eight years, Christie.

    Christie, whose approval rating has hovered around 15 percent over the past few months, has been plagued by a series of scandals and public relations missteps during his two terms.

    In 2016, former Christie allies were convicted in the “Bridgegate” scandal in which they conspired to cause traffic jams near the George Washington Bridge to punish a local mayor who refused to support the governor’s reelection bid. Christie was ridiculed in July after photos surfaced of the governor and his family sitting on a public beach that he ordered closed amid a government shutdown.

    “Most New Jerseyians are just not willing to give a Republican a chance of being governor right now,” said Brigid Harrison, a political science professor at Montclair State University. “And that is the Christie legacy.”

    Compared to the ultra-competitive Virginia governor’s race, the New Jersey election was a relatively easy one for Democrats. The Democratic Governor’s Association spent $4 million on the race, a fraction of the $10 million both sides spent for a single state Senate seat outside Seattle also on the ballot Tuesday. The Republican Governor’s Association spent a little more than $2 million.

    Murphy’s win makes New Jersey the seventh state entirely controlled by Democrats, compared to 26 states that have both a Republican governor and legislature. State Democrats could set a record for longest majority control of the New Jersey legislature.

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    Democrats say the win in New Jersey can set them up to take open governor’s seats in 2018 that have been dominated by Republicans for the past eight years, such as Michigan, Ohio, Kansas, Florida, New Mexico and Maine.

    But even after Murphy is sworn in, Republicans will still control 33 governorships, a near all-time high for the party.

    New Jersey politics could come back into the spotlight in the next few days if Sen Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) is found guilty in a federal corruption trial, where jurors are currently deliberating. If convicted, Menendez could face pressure to resign before Christie leaves office in January, which would let Christie appoint the senator’s replacement and potentially shift the balance of power in the Senate by giving Republicans an even greater majority.

  • It is quite amusing when the leftist try to do a "in your face".

    2020, America's New Civil War.

    If people do not display wisdom, they will crash like blind moles and then mutual annihilation will commence.

    Dems: "Tell us the truth"
    Barr: "There was spying"

    you ain’t black! -Joe Biden, 2020

  • Backyard Commandos INC, HMFIC

    I disagree but I respect your right to be stupid.

    Winners focus on winning, losers focus on winners.

    It's hard for liberals with mental disorders to think that other people don't also have the same mental disorders. - Danneskjold 2018

  • Liberals are celebrating another white male gaining power, go figure.

    Backyard Commandos INC, HMFIC

    I disagree but I respect your right to be stupid.

    Winners focus on winning, losers focus on winners.

    It's hard for liberals with mental disorders to think that other people don't also have the same mental disorders. - Danneskjold 2018

  • plenty more coming in 2018, like most democrats, chump is only attacking republicans... I am just looking forward to the 2020 primaries

    No trees were killed in the posting of this bullshit, however, a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

  • This thread comes off kinda the same as betting excited because the Vegas Golden Knights won a game. You can pretend it means something, but everyone knows it doesn't.


    Justin Fairfax defeats Jill Vogel to become Virginia’s next Lieutenant Governor


    RICHMOND, Va. – Democratic candidate Justin Fairfax has defeated Republican Jill Vogel in the race to become Virginia’s next Lieutenant Governor.

    Vogel conceded defeat to Fairfax at the GOP party in Henrico County Tuesday night.

    With the win, Fairfax becomes the second African American to hold statewide office in Virginia. Doug Wilder was lieutenant governor from 1986-1990, and governor from 1990-1994.

    With 82 percent of precincts reporting, Fairfax has 52.06 percent of the vote compared to 47.86 percent for Vogel, who was vying to become the second woman to hold statewide office in Virginia.


    “Our top priority must be creating higher-paying jobs and economic security and opportunity,” Fairfax previously said on his platform. “Working together, we’ll expand access to capital for small businesses, restructure student loan debt to lower the burden on families, reform our juvenile justice system, expand access to healthcare, and defend our constitutional rights.”

    The lawyer left the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Virginia’s Eastern District in 2012 to run for attorney general a year later; nearly beating then-state Sen. Mark Herring in the Democratic primary.

    The 38-year-old holds degrees in public policy and law from Duke University and Columbia Law School, respectively.

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