Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, the Democratic nominee in Virginia’s governor’s race, has won against Republican opponent Ed Gillespie.
BREAKING: Ralph Northam wins Virginia governor race, NBC News projects
— NBC Politics (@NBCPolitics) November 8, 2017
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Democrat Ralph Northam wins Virginia's hard-fought race for governor.
— Ken Thomas (@KThomasDC) November 8, 2017
Winning the endorsements of both current Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) and former President Barack Obama, Northam was nonetheless the center of his own controversy after a pro-Northam Latino group ran an ad that painted Gillespie supporters as violent racists.
Northam was quick to distance himself from the ad, but right-wingers (likely influenced by Twitter bots) heralded the ad as “racist against white people.” The ad portrayed immigrant children running from a truck bearing Gillespie stickers that was chasing them, and ran after a Gillespie attack attempted to link Northam to the Salvadoran gang MS-13 in an attack on “sanctuary cities” — something Virginia does not have.
After both ads ran, Northam announced that he intended to ban sanctuary cities. In response, the progressive Democracy For America group renounced their support of him and called him “gutless” and “a racist.”
Northam has been Virginia’s lieutenant governor since 2014, when McAuliffe won the office.