RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Voters in Virginia and New Jersey gave Democratic gubernatorial candidates large victories Tuesday and sent a clear message of rebuke to Republican President Donald Trump. In Virginia’s hard-fought contest, Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam defeated Republican Ed Gillespie. In New Jersey, front-running Democrat Phil Murphy overcame Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno to succeed unpopular GOP Gov. Chris Christie. Democrats swept all three of Virginia’s statewide races, including contests for attorney general and lieutenant governor. Several incumbent state House Republicans also lost their seats.

Virginia Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam waves to supporters as they celebrate his election at the Northam For Governor election night party at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. In Virginia’s hard-fought contest, Northam defeated Republican Ed Gillespie. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy, with his wife Tammy, son Josh 20 and Emma 18, celebrates his victory with supporters after the polls close on election night in Asbury Park, N.J. Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. Democrat Murphy topped Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno on Tuesday to succeed Republican Gov. Chris Christie. (Amy Newman/The Record via AP)

Virginia Democrat Ralph Northam points to his wife Pam as they celebrate his election victory with supporters at the Northam For Governor election night party at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. Northam won the Virginia governor’s race and defeated gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., left and Virginia Lt. Governor-elect Justine Fairfax share a laugh during the Ralph Northam For Governor election night party at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy, with his wife Tammy, son Josh 20 and Emma 18, celebrates his victory with supporters after the polls close on election night in Asbury Park, N.J. Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. Democrat Murphy topped Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno on Tuesday to succeed Republican Gov. Chris Christie. (Amy Newman/The Record via AP)

Senator Cory Booker prepares before speaking at NJ gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy victory party on election night after defeating his opponent, Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno. (Amy Newman/The Record via AP)

Supporters of NJ gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy, celebrates watch returns come in for Democratic candidates in New Jersey after while wait for Murphy to address his supporters after defeating his opponent, Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. (Amy Newman/The Record via AP)

The crowd begins to filter in and out of the Convention Center in Asbury Park before NJ gubernatorial candidate Phil Murphy, celebrates his victory with supporters after the polls close on election night after defeating his opponent, Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno. Murphy celebrates at the Convention Center in Asbury Park, NJ on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. (Amy Newman/The Record via AP)

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno signs in to cast her vote on election day at the Parish Center in Monmouth Beach, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. Guadagno is facing Democrat Phil Murphy to replace Gov. Chris Christie, the two-term, term-limited incumbent. (Patti Sapone/NJ Advance Media via AP)

Democrat Phil Murphy leaves the Fairview Elementary School after voting, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017 in Middletown, N.J. Murphy is facing Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagnoto to replace Gov. Chris Christie, the two-term, term-limited incumbent. (Bob Karp/The Daily Record via AP)

Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., left and Virginia Lt. Gov-elect Justine Fairfax share a laugh during the Ralph Northam For Governor election night party at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Virginia Gov.-elect Ralph Northam walks onstage to celebrate his election at the Northam For Governor election night party at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Virginia Gov.-elect Ralph Northam walks onstage to celebrate his election at the Northam For Governor election night party at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie gestures as he delivers a concession speech during an election party in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. Gillespie lost to Democrat Ralph Northam. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie pauses during a concession speech during an election party in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. Gillespie lost to Democrat Ralph Northam. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie pauses as he delivers a concession speech during an election party in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. Gillespie lost to Democrat Ralph Northam. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie gestures as he delivers a concession speech during an election party in Richmond, Va., Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. Gillespie lost to Democrat Ralph Northam. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Supporters celebrate news that Ralph Northam has won the gubernatorial election, while partying at the Northam For Governor election night party at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Supporters celebrate news that Democrat Ralph Northam has won the gubernatorial election, while partying at the Northam For Governor election night party at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Supporters celebrate news that Democrat Ralph Northam has won the gubernatorial election, while partying at the Northam For Governor election night party at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Kim Guadagno waded through the crowd after giving her concession speech, Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, in Aberdeen, NJ. (Russ Desantis/NJ Advance Media via AP)

Carlos Rendo, candidate for Lt. Governor stands by Kim Guadagno as she gives her concession speech Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, in Aberdeen, NJ. (Russ Desantis/NJ Advance Media via AP)

Kim Guadagno gives her concession speech Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, in Aberdeen, NJ. (Russ Desantis/NJ Advance Media via AP)

Kim Guadagno kissed her husband Michael Guadagno during her concession speech Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, in Aberdeen, NJ. (Russ Desantis/NJ Advance Media via AP)

In a contest viewed by many as a referendum on President Donald Trump, Democrat Ralph Northam accepted victory on Tuesday night in the Virginia governor’s race. AP reporter Steve Peoples breaks down what it means nationally. (Nov. 7)

In a contest viewed by many as a referendum on President Donald Trump, Democrat Ralph Northam accepted victory on Tuesday night in the Virginia governor’s race. AP reporter Steve Peoples breaks down what it means nationally. (Nov. 7)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Voters in Virginia and New Jersey gave Democratic gubernatorial candidates large victories Tuesday and sent a clear message of rebuke to Republican President Donald Trump.

In Virginia’s hard-fought contest, Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam defeated Republican Ed Gillespie. In New Jersey, front-running Democrat Phil Murphy trounced Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno to succeed unpopular GOP Gov. Chris Christie.

The victors said Tuesday’s electoral results sent a far-reaching message.

“Virginia has told us to end the divisiveness, that we do not condone hatred and bigotry,” Northam said.

“The days of division are over. We will move forward,” Murphy said in his own victory speech, invoking Trump by name as he looked headed to a double digit win. He delivered the address in the same spot as Christie in 2013 after Christie won big over his Democratic rival.

The wins in both states are a morale boost to Democrats who had so far been unable to channel anti-Trump energy into success at the ballot box in a major election this year.

“The people are gonna rise up. They’re not gonna take what he says and this is not fake news,” said Leanna Barnes, a 76-year-old from East Orange, New Jersey, who voted for Murphy and added she saw his victory as a message to the president.

In a contest viewed by many as a referendum on President Donald Trump, Democrat Ralph Northam accepted victory on Tuesday night in the Virginia governor’s race. AP reporter Steve Peoples breaks down what it means nationally. (Nov. 7)

Virginia college student Tamia Mallory said she began paying attention to her state’s gubernatorial race when she saw tweets from Trump endorsing Gillespie. That motivated her to examine the race and find out who was running against Gillespie, she said.

“It was kind of an anti-Trump vote,” Mallory said.

Northam, the state’s lieutenant governor, repeatedly sought during long months of divisive campaigning to tie Gillespie to the president. His victory was in large part due to the surge in anti-Trump sentiment since the president took office. Democrats said they had record levels of enthusiasm heading into the race in Virginia, a swing-state and the only Southern state that Trump lost last year.

Gillespie, meanwhile, sought to keep Trump at a distance throughout the campaign but tried to rally the president’s supporters with hard-edge attack ads focused on illegal immigration and preserving Confederate statues. The strategy was criticized by Democrats and some Republicans as race baiting, but drew praise from former Trump strategist Steve Bannon and others as a canny way to win a state that voted for Hillary Clinton last year.

Trump lent limited pre-election support to Gillespie with robocalls and tweets.

In one call, Trump said Gillespie shared his views on immigration and crime and would help “Make America Great Again.” Trump also said Northam would be a “total disaster” for Virginia.

But after Tuesday’s loss, Trump suggested that Gillespie hurt himself by not more closely aligning himself with the president.

“Ed Gillespie worked hard but did not embrace me or what I stand for,” Trump said in a tweet after Northam won. He also pointed out that Republicans have won every special election to the U.S. House since he was elected.

Northam’s victory is a blow to Republicans, who were hoping that Gillespie could provide a possible roadmap for moderate Republicans to follow in next year’s midterm elections. Several Republicans have announced plans to retire next year instead of seeking re-election.

Gillespie struck a humble tone in his concession speech as he offered support to Northam. He wiped tears from his eyes while thanking his wife and said the million people who voted for him love Virginia, and so do those who disagree with them.

“And I know they too are rooting for our new governor to succeed because we all love the commonwealth of Virginia,” Gillespie said.

The mood was subdued at Gillespie’s party at a Richmond-area hotel, with supporters not shocked at the outcome but surprised at how poorly Republicans did. Democrats swept all three of Virginia’s statewide races, including contests for attorney general and lieutenant governor. Several incumbent state House Republicans also lost their seats.

Gillespie supporter Elsa Smith said Republicans needed to do a better job of appealing to minorities if they want to win future races.

“We are not taking care of the demographics the way we should,” said Smith, an owner of a Spanish translation business.

Democrats were gleeful at Northam’s victory party. U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly called Northam the “perfect antidote” to the president.

“This is a comprehensive victory from the statehouse to the courthouse. Thank you, President Trump,” Connolly said.

The Democratic victories are another sign of Virginia’s shift toward a more liberal electorate. Democrats have won every statewide election since 2009 and now have won four out of the last five gubernatorial contests. Northam banked heavily during the campaign on his near-perfect political resume and tried to cast himself as the low-key doctor with a strong Southern drawl as the healer to Trump’s divisiveness.

A pediatric neurologist and Army doctor, Northam made health care reform a centerpiece of his political career and current campaign, winning key allies along the way. As a state senator he was a leading opponent of a Republican effort to mandate ultrasounds before abortions in 2012, winning him strong support from well-funded abortion-rights groups.

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