Democrats win gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia

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NEW JERSEY (AP) -- Democrat Phil Murphy wins race to replace New Jersey GOP Gov. Chris Christie.

In Virgina, Democrat Ralph Northam has won the race for governor.



NEW JERSEY (AP) -- Democrats in Virginia and New Jersey who sought to tap into anti-Donald Trump sentiments have won contests to become their states' next governors.

In Virginia's closely watched contest, Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam defeated Republican Ed Gillespie. In New Jersey front-running Democrat Phil Murphy topped Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno (gwah-DAH'-noh) on Tuesday to succeed Republican Gov. Chris Christie.

Northam rode to victory in part by tapping into voters' regret at Trump's victory in last year's national election.

Murphy had an easier pathway in New Jersey, where Guadagno contended with Trump's and Christie's unpopularity.

Democrats were eager to show they could harness anti-Trump energy into success at the polls, while Republicans hoped to prove they could put together a winning blueprint in blue-leaning states.



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 (AP) -- Polls have closed in New Jersey, where voters are picking GOP Gov. Chris Christie's successor.

Democrat Phil Murphy has led Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno in the polls and fundraising. Murphy steered the campaign toward the unpopular term-limited incumbent, linking Guadagno to Christie frequently. He also tried to rouse Democrat-leaning New Jersey's dissatisfaction with President Donald Trump and vowed to block Trump on immigration policies if elected.

Guadagno has focused on lowering property taxes, which are the country's highest, but she also tacked toward Trump's messaging when she called for banning sanctuary cities.

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.



 
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