Virginia gubernatorial primary: Northam wins, awaits GOP victor

Stewart, known better around the state for his love of Confederate memorials than his county-government work, was supposed to fizzle against Gillespie, an establishment pick who almost picked off Mark Warner's US Senate seat in 2014.

The Republican primary races, by contrast, were significantly closer, with governor candidates Edward W. Gillespie and Corey A. Stewart neck-and-neck for much of the night, though Stewart never managed to overtake the presumed GOP frontrunner.

Northam will face Ed Gillespie in the general election.

"We're waiting back there because we really don't know how it's going to turn out, the final numbers", he said.

The Democrats have made elections in Virginia and Georgia a referendum on President Trump.

Virginia is one of two states electing governors this year, and the race is testing the enthusiasm of the electorate in both parties in the wake of Trump's victory.

At Northam's event in Arlington, there were cheers and high fives as news spread that he had been declared the victor.

"If I am entrusted with governorship of the Commonwealth we love, I will be an ethical, honest, hard-working, principled Governor", Gillespie continued. "I trust his dedication to all Virginians", Lee said of Northam. "He cares for everyone".

Gillespie likely will begin the race with significantly more money than Northam, who will need to refill his campaign chest after flooding the airwaves with commercials to fend off Perriello.

Northam beat former congressman Tom Perriello, with most polls reporting Tuesday.

Perriello pledged in his concession speech to help Northam and said his campaign had shown that a "movement" is "rising up". The former Republican National Committee chairman, garnered 43.7 percent of Republican primary votes.

In the Republican race, Gillespie enjoyed a huge fundraising advantage against Stewart and state Sen.

"I'm shocked", said Nancy Russell, who was Hanover County chairwoman when Gillespie ran for Senate in 2014.

A big showing for Trumpism in Virginia will leave other party operatives rethinking next year's competitive primaries in congressional and gubernatorial races. His chief opponent, Prince William Board of County Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart, had his conservative stances and his ties to Mr. Trump.

Virginia is one of only two states electing governors this year, and the contest is in a swing state that Hillary Clinton won in November.

Democrats appeared to have set a record with more than 500,000 votes cast, compared with about 350,000 in the Republican contest.

"We have changed the conversation here in Virginia and lifted the voices of those who have been left out of the political conservation for too long", Mr. Perriello said at a party in Falls Church.

Another top GOP strategist cast the Virginia results as "horrible news" for those lukewarm toward Trump past year.

It is unclear if the defeat of Stewart or the narrowness of that defeat - when it was expected to be by a much larger margin - is a show of support for the president or a statement against him. "As delegate, I will hold him accountable for his actions". In November, she will Justin Fairfax, an attorney from northern Virginia, who won the Democratic nomination. Northam hopes to continue the work he started with McAuliffe and is focusing his campaign on economic progress. Vogel edged State Senator Bryce Reeves of Spotsylvania, and Virginia Beach Delegate Glenn Davis finished last.

Vogel, 46, is the managing partner of a law firm specializing in campaign finance and ethics issues.

Annandale resident and former USA attorney Justin Fairfax won the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor with 49 percent of the vote.