© Greg Nash
Virginia Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) used his victory speech Tuesday to tout his decisive win in the pivotal governor's race as a signal that Virginians want to end political "divisiveness."
Northam's resounding victory dealt a blow to Republicans nearly a year to the day from Trump's own election win.
With 99 perfect of precincts reporting, Northam was nearly 9 points over Gillespie, overperforming polls that showed the Virginia Democrat with a slight edge going into Election Day. The governor's race turned into a bruising battle in the final stretch of the race that was dominated by negative ads and a focus on culture war issues.
"It was said that the eyes of the nation are now on the Commonwealth. 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," Northam said to a packed room of supporters at George Mason University in Northern Virginia.
When Northam took the stage, he was interrupted by a pro-sanctuary cities protester who was removed from the ballroom — a reference to Northam's campaign commitment to outlaw sanctuary cities if offered the chance as governor.
Gillespie congratulated Northam in his concession speech and offered him help going forward.
"Governor-elect Northam is a good man and I appreciate his service to our country and our Commonwealth and I wish him nothing but the best success," Gillespie told his supporters in Richmond.
Ben Kamisar contributed.