Terry McAuliffe Concedes in Virginia Governor’s Race

The Democrat’s defeat in his bid to return to the governor’s office came a year after Joseph R. Biden Jr. carried Virginia by 10 points.

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Terry McAuliffe concedes to Glenn Youngkin, a Republican financier, in the Virginia governor’s race.

With former President Donald J. Trump out of office, former Gov. Terry McAuliffe struggled to generate enthusiasm among liberals at a moment when conservatives are energized in opposition to President Biden.Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

Nov. 3, 2021Updated 10:34 a.m. ET

Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic candidate for governor in Virginia, conceded on Wednesday morning to his Republican opponent, the businessman Glenn Youngkin, as the Republican Party claimed the state’s governorship for the first time in more than a decade.

“While last night we came up short, I am proud that we spent this campaign fighting for the values we so deeply believe in,” Mr. McAuliffe said in a statement.

He added, “While there will be setbacks along the way, I am confident that the long-term path of Virginia is toward inclusion, openness and tolerance for all.”

With his victory, Mr. Youngkin, 54, presented his party with a formula for how to exploit President Biden’s vulnerabilities and evade the shadow of Donald J. Trump in Democratic-leaning states. A wealthy former private equity executive making his first run for office, he elevated education and taxes while projecting a suburban-dad demeanor to demonstrate he was different from Mr. Trump without saying so outright.

With Mr. Trump out of office, Mr. McAuliffe struggled to generate enthusiasm among liberals at a moment when conservatives are energized in opposition to Mr. Biden.

The Associated Press called the race for Mr. Youngkin shortly after 12:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, hours after the polls closed on Tuesday night.

Mr. Youngkin’s surprise victory in Virginia represents the starkest warning yet that Democrats are in danger. It was likely to prompt additional congressional retirements, intensify the intraparty tug of war over Mr. Biden’s agenda and fuel fears that a midterm electoral wave and Mr. Trump’s return as a candidate are all but inevitable.

“The MAGA movement is bigger and stronger than ever before,” Mr. Trump said in a statement Tuesday night.

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