TRENTON, N.J. — Democrats in Virginia and New Jersey who sought to tap into anti-Donald Trump sentiments have won contests to become their states’ next governors.
In Virginia’s closely watched contest, Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam defeated Republican Ed Gillespie. In New Jersey front-running Democrat Phil Murphy topped Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno on Tuesday to succeed Republican Gov. Chris Christie.
Northam rode to victory in part by tapping into voters’ regret at Trump’s victory in last year’s national election.
Murphy had an easier pathway in New Jersey, where Guadagno contended with Trump’s and Christie’s unpopularity.
Democrats were eager to show they could harness anti-Trump energy into success at the polls, while Republicans hoped to prove they could put together a winning blueprint in blue-leaning states.