State leaders react to election results

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RICHMOND, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Governor Ralph Northam: Tonight, the ground has shifted in Virginia government. The voters have spoken, and they have elected landmark Democratic majorities in both the Senate and the House of Delegates. I am proud of my fellow Democrats and inspired by our shared victory.

Since I took office two years ago, we have made historic progress as a Commonwealth. Tonight, Virginians made it clear they want us to continue building on that progress.

They want us to defend the rights of women, LGBTQ Virginians, immigrant communities, and communities of color. They want us to increase access to a world-class education for every child, and make sure no one is forced to go bankrupt because they or a family member gets sick. They want us to invest in clean energy and take bold action to combat climate change. And they want us to finally pass commonsense gun safety legislation, so no one has to fear being hurt or killed while at school, at work, or at their place of worship.

I look forward to working with our new Democratic majority to make these priorities a reality. Together, we will build a stronger, more inclusive, and more just Commonwealth.

Speaker of the Virginia House Kirk Cox: The voters of the Commonwealth of Virginia today carried on a 400-year-old tradition in representative government. As we have done since 1619, people across Virginia cast ballots to decide who would represent them in the oldest continuously-elected lawmaking body in the New World.

I congratulate those who were elected and re-elected to the House of Delegates tonight. When the House convenes in January, we will welcome new members on both sides of the aisle, and, for the first time in two decades, a new party will sit in the majority.

When Republicans took the majority 20 years ago, we preserved proportional representation on committees and sought to treat our colleagues with the respect that should be afforded to all equal members in an institution as revered and esteemed as the House. I hope and pray those traditions continue regardless of who wields power in the years to come.

I am deeply proud of what the House of Delegates has accomplished during the last two decades. We balanced the budget, protected our AAA bond-rating through a major recession, passed four teacher pay raises in six years, froze college tuition, made major reforms to our transportation system, secured our state's pension system for the future, and guided Virginia to the nation's top state for business.

Those results did not happen by accident, and they are not guaranteed to continue. The course set by the next General Assembly will affect the lives of millions for years to come.

Representative democracy began in Virginia 400 years ago, but it does not end tonight. Voters will have the opportunity soon to judge those elected based on their policies and results, not just promises and rhetoric of campaign season. Until then, Republicans will work with Democrats where we can, speak out against overreaching policies when we must, and always seek to guard the best interests of the people of the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is my sincere prayer that God will continue to bless our great Commonwealth.

House Republican Majority Leader Todd Gilbert:I am honored and thankful to be re-elected by what appears to be a historic margin in a contested race in this district. This outcome is a testament to how hard I have worked to reflect my constituents’ values, to fix their problems, and to be available to hear their concerns. I commend my opponent on a hard-fought race.

The outcome across Virginia is far less encouraging. Liberal judicial gerrymandering and millions of dollars in outside spending from Democrat billionaires and special interests heavily influenced this off-year election. Make no mistake: radical liberals from out of our Commonwealth will soon demand a return on the tens of millions they invested to elect a far-left Democratic majority.

Virginians should expect public policies that look a lot more like the train-wreck that is California than the Virginia of good fiscal management and common-sense conservative governance. Republican policies have kept Virginians safe, prosperous, and free for more than two decades. In the months ahead, Democrats will seek to make good on their extreme agenda. We will fight that agenda at every turn, but with unchecked control of both Houses and a governor still desperately seeking rehabilitation, we will have our work cut out for us. One thing is for certain, Democrats will completely own the results of the next two years.