Youngkin’s Virginia takes Democrats’ victory in close race in NJ | Virginie News

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By WILL WEISSERT and SARAH RANKIN, Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – Glenn Youngkin won the Virginia governor’s race early Wednesday, capitalizing on cultural warfare fights against schools and the race to unite former President Donald Trump’s staunchest supporters with enough from suburban voters to become the first Republican to win a statewide office in a dozen years.

54-year-old Youngkin’s loss to Democrat Terry McAuliffe marked a brutal turnaround in a state that had shifted to the left over the past decade and which President Joe Biden won by 10 points in 2020 And as the party felt the sting of defeat, Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey was virtually deadlocked in his bid for reelection in a state Biden won by 15.

The election was the first major test of voter sentiment since Biden took office and suggested growing frustration. They also stressed that with Trump’s departure, Democrats cannot center their messages on opposing him. The results ultimately pointed to a potentially painful year for Democrats as they attempt to maintain small majorities in Congress.

The mood among the Republicans was festive.

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“It’s the spirit of Virginia coming together like never before,” Youngkin told enthusiastic supporters in the ballroom of a hotel in Chantilly, about 25 miles west of Washington. AC / DC’s “Thunderstruck” sounded over the speakers as the race was called after midnight.

Youngkin has vowed to rule not only from the state capital, but with “a vision where the power of the Virginians, the power that has historically resided in the marble halls of Richmond is distributed, distributed in the kitchen tables that are held together with the bond and spirit of freedom and liberty.

A political neophyte, Youngkin was able to take advantage of the apparent apathy of the main Democratic voters tired by years of elections considered unavoidable. He successfully portrayed McAuliffe, a former governor of Virginia, chairman of the Democratic National Committee and close friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton, as part of an elite class of politicians. It also caught a late stumble from McAuliffe, who, during a debate, suggested that parents should have a minimal role in curriculum development.

Perhaps most importantly, Youngkin prevailed in a task that blocked dozens of Republicans before him: attracting the Trump base while also drawing in suburban voters who were repelled by the former president’s divisive behavior. .

During the campaign, Youngkin declared his support for “electoral integrity,” a nod to Trump’s lie that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, while also focusing on education and pro-business policies. He never campaigned in person with Trump, successfully defying McAuliffe’s efforts to portray him as a clone of the former president.

This approach could provide a model for Republicans competing in future races that feature a significant number of Democratic or Independent voters.

Elsewhere in the country on Tuesday, mayoral competitions helped shape the leadership of some of the country’s largest cities. Former Democratic police captain Eric Adams claimed victory in New York, and voters in Boston elected city councilor Michelle Wu, the first woman mayor of Asian American descent. Cincinnati has its first Asian American mayor, Aftab Pureval.

Voters in Minneapolis rejected a voting initiative that sought to reshuffle police in their city, where George Floyd was killed by a white cop on Memorial Day 2020, sparking the biggest wave of protests against racial injustice in generations . The initiative would have replaced the police force with a public security ministry tasked with adopting a “comprehensive public health” approach to policing.

In the race for governor of New Jersey, incumbent Gov. Murphy was looking to become the first Democrat re-elected to office in 44 years. But Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli posted a surprisingly strong performance, campaigning on issues such as taxes and opposition to pandemic masks and vaccination warrants. The race was too early to call as the votes were still counted.

But no other contest this off-year election season has received the level of national attention – and money – like the governor’s race in Virginia, a state with large swathes of graduate suburban voters who are over and more influential in controlling Congress and the White House.

Former Carlyle Group co-CEO with a lanky 6-inch-6-inch build that made him a reserve forward for the Rice University basketball team, Youngkin invested much of his personal fortune in a campaign that spent over $ 59 million. Preferring fleece vests, Youngkin sought to cut the image of an awesome suburban dad.

Youngkin confidently ran on a conservative platform. He opposed a major clean energy mandate the state adopted two years ago and opposed abortion in most circumstances.

He also opposed the mask and vaccine warrants, vowed to expand Virginia’s limited charter schools, and outlaw Critical Race Theory, an academic framework that focuses on the idea that racism is systemic in the nation’s institutions and that they function to maintain white dominance. In recent months, it has become a catch-all political buzzword for teaching in schools about race and American history.

McAuliffe tried to energize the Democratic base by pushing abortion forward, denouncing a new Texas law that broadly banned the procedure and warning that Youngkin would seek to implement similar restrictions.

Youngkin didn’t discuss abortion much in public, and a liberal activist filmed him saying the issue couldn’t help him during the campaign. He said that an election victory would allow the party to “start to go on the offensive” on the issue.

As McAuliffe leaned on the star power of a host of National Democrats, including former President Barack Obama and ex-Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, Youngkin largely campaigned alone, focusing on issues which he considered important to the Virginians.

Youngkin has also proven to be perhaps the most effective in deflecting McAuliffe’s efforts to tie him to Trump and the former president’s divisive political style.

Polls showed the race was tightening after McAuliffe said in a debate in late September that he didn’t think “parents should tell schools what they should be teaching.” make school curricula less “anti-American” and review policies on transgender students and school toilets.

The race took a particularly bitter turn last week, when Youngkin ran an ad featuring a mother and a GOP activist who eight years ago led an effort to ban “Beloved,” the novel. Black Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison’s Pulitzer Prize Winner, Classrooms.

McAuliffe accused Youngkin of opening a “racist dog whistle,” but Youngkin said Virginia’s parents knew what was really at stake – as did families across the country. It was a nod to how tapping into parental activism might work for the GOP next year and in future election cycles.

“America is watching Virginia,” Youngkin said as part of his final argument. “And America needs us to vote for them, too.”

Associated Press editors Ben Finley in Norfolk, Virginia, Hank Kurz in Richmond, Alexandra Jaffe in McLean, and Jill Colvin in New York contributed to this report.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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