Democrat McAuliffe concedes Virginia governor's race to Republican Glenn Youngkin

McAuliffe told his supporters he is "confident that the long-term path of Virginia is toward inclusion, openness, and tolerance for all."

Updated: November 3, 2021 - 11:02am

Virginia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe on Wednesday morning conceded victory to GOP rival Glenn Youngkin.

"Congratulations to Governor-Elect Glenn Youngkin on his victory," McAuliffe said in a statement, after the race was called for Youngkin about about 1:30 a.m. "I hope Virginians will join me in wishing the best to him and his family."

Youngkin defeated McAuliffe by roughly 2 points, after trailing by as many at 6 points this summer, then steadily bringing the race to a dead heat in the closing weeks. 

"While last night we came up short, I am proud that we spent this campaign fighting for the values we so deeply believe in. We must protect Virginia's great public schools and invest in our students," said McAuliffe, whose stance about parents’ involvement in school curricula appeared to be a major misstep in his bid to become governor for a second time.

He also said: "We must protect affordable health care coverage, raise the minimum wage faster, and expand paid leave so working families have a fighting shot. We must protect voting rights, protect a woman's right to choose, and, above all else, we must protect our democracy."

Republican candidates in Virginia won the state's lieutenant governor and as of Wednesday morning were still in contention to win the attorney general race and enough seats in the state's House of Delegates to control the chamber.

McAuliffe trotted out Democrat heavy-hitters to join him on the campaign trail including President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and former President Barack Obama. 

Youngkin was joined by comparatively few Republican superstars, but secured a win by focusing on issues including parents' rights when it comes to their children's education, as well as the Virginia economy, and COVID-19 lockdowns and policy.

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