Democrats took full control of the Virginia legislature for the first time in more than two decades while the race for governor in deeply Republican Kentucky was too close to call despite a last-minute boost from President Donald Trump. Ghazala Hashmi made history becoming the first Muslim woman elected to the state senate.
In Kentucky, Democratic challenger Andy Beshear held a narrow lead and declared victory in the governor’s race over Republican incumbent Matt Bevin on Tuesday, though Bevin had not conceded. And in Virginia, Democrats flipped control of the state Senate and House, gaining outright control of state government in a state that is often a battleground for the White House.
“I’m here to officially declare today, Nov. 5, 2019, that Virginia is officially blue,” Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam told a crowd of supporters in Richmond.
Hashmi, a community college administrator and first-time candidate, defeated Republican Sen. Glen Sturtevant Tuesday in a key win for Democrats.
“This victory, is not mine alone. It belongs to all of you who believed that we needed to make progressive change here in Virginia, for all of you who felt that you haven’t had a voice and believed in me to be yours in the General Assembly,” Hashmi tweeted Tuesday evening.
“After flipping the Senate, I’ll have Democrats by my side to fight to protect Virginians from the climate crisis and senseless gun violence, and work to expand our access to affordable health care and funding for public education. I can’t wait to work together in the state Senate,” she added.
Hashmi campaigned heavily on education, gun violence prevention, and health care, criticizing Sturtevant for his vote against Medicaid expansion.
Hashmi immigrated to the U.S. from India as a child. The state party says she will be the first Muslim-American woman to serve in the Senate.
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