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Democrat Northam wins Virginia governor’s race

Democrat Ralph Northam won Virginia’s race for governor. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Democrat Ralph Northam has won Virginia’s race for governor.

Early unofficial results show Northam defeated Republican Ed Gillespie on Tuesday.

Virginia’s hard-fought race was closely watched as a swing-state test of President Donald Trump’s popularity. Northam, a pediatric neurologist and the state’s lieutenant governor, repeatedly tried to tie Gillespie to the president during months of divisive campaigning overshadowed by racial overtones and attack ads.

Northam’s victory was in large part due to a surge in anti-Trump energy since the president took office. Democrats said they had record levels of enthusiasm heading into the race.

Gillespie kept Trump at a distance throughout the campaign but tried to rally the president’s supporters with hard-edge ads focused on illegal immigration and preserving Confederate statues.

New Jersey and Virginia are the only two states electing governors on Tuesday. The race is being analyzed for signs on how next year’s midterm elections could go, and on how voters view Trump’s administration.

Trump weighed in on the election after the results were in via a tweet.

“Ed Gillespie worked hard but did not embrace me or what I stand for,” he tweeted. “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!”