Northam defeats Gillespie in governor's race

Northam defeats Gillespie in governor's race

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Democrat Ralph Northam will be the next governor of Virginia, beating out Republican Ed Gillespie on Tuesday.

Gillespie conceded to Northam Tuesday evening.

"I just called Governor-Elect Ralph Northam to congratulate him on becoming Governor-Elect Ralph Northam, and to wish him and Pam and their family all of our best from Kathy and me," said Gillespie during his concession speech. "As I said through the campaign, 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 as our 73rd governor, and told him that if I could be helpful to him in making our Commonwealth better, I'd do anything I could in that regard."

Heading into Election Day, the last polls had Northam ahead of Gillespie by as many as nine points.

As he started his acceptance speech, Northam briefly took off the stage by security when a group of people disrupted the speech, holding signs and chanting for Sanctuary cities. They were peacefully removed a few minutes later.

"I'm back," Northam said as he returned to the stage.

"Tonight we proved that we're stronger when we value and fight for one another," said Northam. "Virginia has answered and has spoken. Virginia told us to end the divisiveness that we will not condone hatred and bigotry and to end the politics that tore this country apart."

Northam has worked as a doctor, a veteran, a state senator and served as lieutenant governor. He says his top priority as governor will be job creation and training students for those open skilled labor jobs.

"I have a plan called G3 which is 'Get Skilled, Get jobs, and Give Back.' It allows Virginians to go to community college for two years debt free with the understanding that once they become certified, they will give back a year in public service with pay or in a high demand area in Virginia," he explained.

Northam says he'll work to increase teacher salaries and the minimum wage. He wants to expand gun control, expand access to medical marijuana, and expand Medicaid.

"We have 400,000 working Virginians that don't have access to health care. That's immoral," said Northam.

He supports building the natural gas pipelines with a careful review to ensure it meets environmental standards.

"The cost of energy is very important.  We have to be competitive with other states. If we're not, then businesses and manufacturers are going to choose other states. It's just that simple," said Northam.

Governor-Elect Northam will give a speech in Richmond at 10 a.m.

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