McAuliffe concedes Virginia governor's race to Youngkin

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffeTerry McAuliffeThe Memo: Is Trump the GOP's future or in rearview mirror? The Hill's 12:30 Report: Dems barrel towards voting rights vote with no outcome Trump cutout among pranks left at Executive Mansion for Youngkin MORE (D) conceded to Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin (R) on Wednesday, hours after Youngkin declared victory. 

"Congratulations to Governor-Elect Glenn Youngkin on his victory," McAuliffe said in a statement. "I hope Virginians will join me in wishing the best to him and his family."
 
Youngkin narrowly defeated McAuliffe by roughly 2 points on Tuesday. 
 
In the same statement, McAuliffe pushed for a number of the liberal initiatives he highlighted during the campaign.
 
"While last night we came up short, I am proud that we spent this campaign fighting for the values we so deeply believe in. We must protect Virginia's great public schools and invest in our students," McAuliffe said.
 
"We must protect affordable health care coverage, raise the minimum wage faster, and expand paid leave so working families have a fighting shot," he added. "We must protect voting rights, protect a woman's right to choose, and, above all else, we must protect our democracy."
 
McAuliffe also said that he is "confident that the long-term path of Virginia is toward inclusion, openness, and tolerance for all." 
 
The former governor did not concede initially on Tuesday night, saying during an appearance at his election night headquarters that he wanted to wait until all of the votes were counted. 
 
McAuliffe's loss represents a major warning sign for Democrats going into next year's midterm elections. The former governor spent much of the campaign tying Youngkin to former President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger welcomes baby boy Tennessee lawmaker presents self-defense bill in 'honor' of Kyle Rittenhouse Five things to know about the New York AG's pursuit of Trump MORE, despite the former president not being on the ballot.
 
Meanwhile, Youngkin zeroed in on parental rights in education and academic excellence as a major part of his messaging. Down the ballot, Republicans also pulled off wins. Former Del. Winsome Sears and Del. Jason Miyares made history as the first woman and Latino to be elected lieutenant governor and attorney general, respectively. Republicans also made major gains in the House of Delegates, with some races still up in the air.