Virginia elected Democrat Ralph Northam became the state’s next governor Tuesday night, despite repeated pleas from President Donald Trump to vote for his rival.
CNN called the election just after 8pm ET. As of that time, Northam was leading Republican challenger Ed Gillespie 54.4 percent to 42.4 percent.
Northam, 58, served as Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s lieutenant governor and as an Army doctor and pediatric neurologist. Former President Barack Obama stumped for Northam last month, where he slammed the current political climate as “nasty” and implied that the Democratic candidate would help “bring people together.”
His rival, Gillespie, received a resounding endorsement from Trump and the president encouraged support of the candidate several times on Twitter.
As recently as Tuesday morning, Trump called Northam “weak on crime, weak on our GREAT VETS” and lambasted him for being “anti-Second Amendment.”
The race in Virginia was expected to be close and has been seen as somewhat of a litmus test for post-Trump voters. The election in Virginia, projected to be much closer than New Jersey’s gubernatorial election, was seen as an indication of how voters are reacting to the policies of Trump and his administration.
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Virginia is the only southeastern state that Trump lost during the 2016 presidential election.