The Latest: New Jersey's new governor thanks supporters
Nov. 08, 2017
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Latest on Democratic victories in Tuesday's elections, including governor's races in Virginia and New Jersey (all times local):
President Donald Trump is tweeting about his 2016 election victory.
On Thursday from Beijing, Trump said on Twitter: "Congratulations to all of the "DEPLORABLES" and the millions of people who gave us a MASSIVE (304-227) Electoral College landslide victory!"
Trump posted a photo of himself with a collection of former campaign aides turned White House staffers. Wednesday marks the one-year anniversary of his presidential win.
Trump's opponent during last year's election, Hillary Clinton, took criticism for referring to half of Trump's supporters as belonging in "a basket of deplorables."
New Jersey's next governor is thanking voters and preparing to assume office.
A hoarse Phil Murphy greeted commuters at a rail station in Hoboken on Wednesday, one day after the Democrat beat Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno (gwah-DAH'-noh) 55 percent to 43 percent.
Murphy says he'll kick off his transition in the evening. But first he plans to make a lot of phone calls and attend his son's soccer game.
Murphy says he had a gracious phone call from Republican Gov. Chris Christie, and they will meet in the next few days to discuss the change of government.
Murphy takes office on Jan. 16.
Democrat Ralph Northam said his resounding victory in the closely watched race for Virginia governor has sent a global signal against divisiveness, hatred and bigotry.
"I think what this message was yesterday that Virginia sent not only to this country, but to this world, is that the divisiveness, the hatred, the bigotry, the politics that is tearing this country apart, that's not the United States of America that people love," Northam said Wednesday.
He spoke at a news conference at Virginia's Capitol, the morning after he easily beat Republican Ed Gillespie in what many viewed as a sharp rebuke of President Donald Trump. Northam promised to govern in a "Virginia Way" that promotes compromise and honest disagreements. He said his areas of focus would include improving rural Virginia's economy and expanding health care coverage for the state's poor.
A transgender candidate who defeated an incumbent Virginia lawmaker and the sponsor of a bill that would have restricted which bathrooms she could use is thanking her grassroots supporters.
Democrat Danica Roem, a former journalist, told Washinton's WTTG-TV in an interview Wednesday morning that her supporters made it possible for her to run without relying on campaign contributions from corporations. She says she has refused to accept money from Dominion Energy, which she says has too much influence over lawmakers.
Roem is set to make history as the first openly transgender person elected and seated in a state legislature in the United States. She unseated Republican Del. Bob Marshall, one of the state's longest serving and most socially conservative lawmakers. The race was one of the year's most high profile, drawing international attention and big money to the northern Virginia House of Delegates district outside the nation's capital.
She will be the first transgender member of the House of Delegates and will become the first out transgender person to win and serve in a state legislature, according to the Victory Fund, The political action committee works to get openly LGBTQ people elected and has supported Roem.
Former President Barack Obama is congratulating the two Democrats who won gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey.
In a Wednesday morning tweet, Obama said: "This is what happens when the people vote."
Democrat Ralph Northam beat Republican Ed Gillespie in the race for Virginia governor. In New Jersey, Democrat Phil Murphy trounced Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, who served under the term-limited, deeply unpopular GOP Gov. Chris Christie.
In his tweet, Obama also congratulated "all the victors in state legislative, county and mayors' races."
Democrats' startlingly strong showing on Election Day in Virginia has set off overnight recriminations and finger pointing by some of President Donald Trump's most ardent supporters.
Democrat Ralph Northam easily defeated Republican Ed Gillespie in the closely watched race for governor. Gillespie is a former White House aide to President George W. Bush and lobbyist who largely kept his distance from Trump throughout the campaign but embraced some of the president's messaging.
The pro-Trump website Breitbart News, which had earlier praised Gillespie as a "culture warrior" before Election Day derided him as a "Republican swamp thing" late Tuesday.
Trump's former Virginia campaign manager Corey Stewart called the loss a "humiliating rejection" of Gillespie and moderate Republicans. Gillespie narrowly defeated Stewart in the GOP primary this summer.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez says the key to his party's success in Tuesday's elections was fielding good candidates and thorough organizing efforts.
Democrats won governor's races in Virginia and New Jersey and performed well in races scattered around the country in this off-year election.
"Organizing matters," Perez said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." ''This was the most extensive, coordinated ground game in Virginia history, more extensive than any presidential. ... Terry McAuliffe did a spectacular job four years ago, and they did that much more."
Perez said another key was also making sure Democrats had candidates up and down the ballot. "When you organize, organize, organize, and you compete in every zip code, you win," he said.
He said voters are growing tired of current political tactics.
"The politics of division are not what we want in New Jersey and elsewhere," Perez said. Voters "want leaders they can be proud of," he said. "They care about facts, not playing the politics of division."
Virginia's governor-elect Democrat Ralph Northam is assuring residents that the state will be inclusive as long as he holds that position.
Northam, a pediatric neurologist and Army veteran, defeated longtime Republican operative Ed Gillespie in Tuesday's election, a bruising contest that tested the power of President Donald Trump's fiery nationalism against the energy the energy of the Trump resistance.
"I'm here to let you know the doctor is in," a smiling Northam told supporters in suburban Washington, D.C., gathered for his victory speech.
And he added, "Virginia has told us to end the divisiveness, that we do not condone hatred and bigotry and to end the politics that have torn this country apart."
Gillespie told his supporters that he had called Northam to congratulate him. He called his former opponent in the hard-fought race "a good man," adding that he wishes him nothing but the best.
Democrat Ralph Northam has seized his party's first major Trump-era victory, beating back a charge from Republican Ed Gillespie in the race for Virginia governor.
The bruising election tested the power of President Donald Trump's fiery nationalism against the energy of the Trump resistance. In Virginia, like in several contests across America on Tuesday, the Trump resistance won. And it wasn't close.
Democrats also scored victories in the race for New Jersey governor. The Democratic mayors of New York and Boston also won re-election easily. And Virginia voters elected the state's first openly-transgender state representative.
The resounding victories marked the GOP's most significant day of defeat in the young Trump presidency and a rebuke to the president himself as his party eyes a suddenly more threatening 2018 midterm election season.