Northam wins Virginia, Murphy takes New Jersey

Democrat Terry McAuliffe (R) gives a thumbs up as he joins hands with Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam on November 5, 2013. Northam was elected to replace McAuliffe on Tuesday. File Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI

Nov. 7 (UPI) — Democrats swept the two open gubernatorial seats Tuesday with voters choosing Ralph Northam in Virginia and Phil Murphy in New Jersey, polls indicate.

CNN and NBC News projected the wins shortly after polls closed in both states.

Northam, currently lieutenant governor, defeated Republican Ed Gillespie to replace outgoing Gov. Terry McAuliffe. McAuliffe was ineligible to run due to term limits.

Northam, who had former President Barack Obama‘s endorsement, held double-digit leads in polls until recently.

All 100 seats in Virginia’s Legislature, the House of Delegates, also are being contested. Whether the Democratic Party can make inroads in the Republican-dominated assembly could be a bellwether for the 2018 midterm elections.

President Donald Trump, who endorsed Gillespie, appeared to reverse his support for the candidate after media outlets projected his loss.

“Ed Gillespie worked hard but did not embrace me or what I stand for. Don’t forget, Republicans won 4 out of 4 House seats, and with the economy doing record numbers, we will continue to win, even bigger than before!” the president tweeted.

In New Jersey, Murphy will replace Republican Gov. Chris Christie, also ineligible to run due to term limits. Murphy defeated New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno.

Murphy thanked voters for the projected win.

“On behalf of my family and campaign team, thank you for all you’ve done for this campaign,” he tweeted.


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