A day after Democrats proclaimed Tuesday’s electoral wins a “progressive tidal wave,” Virginia’s governor-elect struck a tone of moderation.
Gov.-elect Ralph Northam offered praise for his defeated Republican opponent, Ed Gillespie, and indicated he would work with President Donald Trump on issues such as the U.S. military.
“If he plans to build up the military, that obviously would be very good for Virginia,” Northam said Wednesday.
The campaign, which was filled with negative ads from both the Democrat and Republican, included Gillespie’s attacking Northam for casting a deciding vote on Feb. 22 in favor of sanctuary cities.
“I’ve always been opposed to sanctuary cities,” Northam said later in the campaign.
The governor-elect spoke favorably of Gillespie, a former chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia and the Republican National Committee, as well as counselor to President George W. Bush.
“He’s a good man,” Northam said. “And he ran to make Virginia a better commonwealth. And so I appreciate that. Ed is willing to heal Virginia with me, to bring people together.”
Stephanie Taylor, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a group dedicated to “building power at the local, state, and federal levels,” struck a different tone in a statement Wednesday following Northam’s victory on Tuesday.
“Let’s be clear about what happened: Inspiring people decided to run for office as their act of Resistance,” Taylor said in an emailed statement on Wednesday, adding:
And they beat Republicans by running as bold progressives, weaving their powerful personal stories into their campaign narratives. We had reverse coattails. Statewide candidates were boosted by the energy around inspiring down-ballot candidates.
Northam, by contrast, was more middle-of-the-road in his comments.
“We live in the greatest state in this country,” Northam said. “And we have so much potential. And it’s time to put some of the ideology, put some of the divisiveness aside and bring people to the table.”