- Democrats began what they hope will be the start of a major political comeback Tuesday, nearly one year to the day Donald Trump pulled off an upset victory that left the party demoralized, leaderless and pointing fingers.
- Virginia Democrat Ralph Northam easily cruised to victory over Republican Ed Gillespie in a race in that looked as if it had been tightening in recent weeks. The success translated down the ballot as well, with Democrats making major gains in the state legislature.
- In New Jersey, Democrat Phil Murphy soundly defeated Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno. Guadagno proved unable to separate herself from Gov. Chris Christie, who will leave office as one of the nation’s most unpopular elected officials.
- Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio handily won a second term, while voters in Maine chose to expand access to Medicaid, overruling the state’s Republican governor.
2017 Elections – NBC News
“Today, Virginia has told us to end the divisiveness, that we will not condone hatred and bigotry, and to end the politics that have torn this country apart,” the Democrat and former military doctor said. “In Virginia, it’s going to take a doctor to heal our differences, to bring unity to our people, and I’m here to let you know that the doctor is in.”
Virginia’s gubernatorial race focused on many of the themes that Trump himself ran on, including crime and immigration, with opponent Ed Gillespie running ads that accused Northam of aiding criminal immigrants by casting a tie-breaking vote against a sanctuary city ban while lieutenant governor.
“We live in a very diverse society it is getting more diverse every day, it is that diverse society that makes this country great,” he said. “As governor, I will make sure that we will be inclusive — our doors will be open.”
Three protesters were seen heckling Northam and holding homemade signs, including one Northam sign with the word “sanctuary” written across it. The protesters appeared to be escorted out of the victory party.
Northam said last week he would sign a ban on sanctuary cities as governor after Republican opponent Ed Gillespie campaigned on threats of MS-13 gang violence. Northam had previously voted against such a ban.
Northam returned promptly to the podium to speak and did not address the disruption.
More than 2,500,000 votes had been counted as of 10:16 p.m. Tuesday. That total dwarfs turnout for the past two Virginia gubernatorial elections. 2,240,314 voters cast ballots in 2013, and 1,984,934 voted in 2009.
Democrats eagerly worked to mobilize voters in the state in an effort to repudiate President Donald Trump one year after his surprise election victory. Republicans were hopeful Virginia, which Hillary Clinton won in 2016, would deliver another surprise blow to Democrats.
With 69 percent of the vote in at 11:05 p.m. ET, Curtis had 59 percent of the vote, while Allen received 26 percent.
The ballot measure will give an estimated 80,000 low-income Mainers access to health care. It also offers an important test of the health care law’s popularity amid efforts of President Donald Trump and other GOP leaders to dismantle it.