A longstanding ally of President Trump says that Washington, D.C. should “annex” Northern Virginia and return the state’s governance “to Virginians.”
Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. made the remark after Democrat Ralph Northam defeated Republican Ed Gillespie late Tuesday to win the Virginia governor’s race.
“DC should annex NOVA and return the governance of VA to Virginians!” he tweeted. “The founders intended DC to include all fed employees who are conflicted.”
DC should annex NOVA and return the governance of VA to Virginians! The founders intended DC to include all fed employees who are conflicted— Jerry Falwell (@JerryFalwellJr) November 8, 2017
Falwell was seemingly referencing federal employees who work in Washington but reside in Virginia.
Northam, who is Virginia’s lieutenant governor, won several portions of the state’s northern section Tuesday evening, including Alexandria and Fairfax Counties.
“It was said that the eyes of the nation are now on the Commonwealth,” he said during a victory speech at George Mason University in Fairfax.
“Today Virginia has told us to end the divisiveness, that we will not condone hatred and bigotry, and to end the politics that have torn this country apart,” Northam added.
Northam bested Gillespie by approximately 9 points in the contest to replace Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D).
The win gives Democrats their first significant victory since Trump entered office and follows several memorable special election losses in Republican districts earlier this year.
Gillespie, who is a former Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman, struggled with how closely to align himself with Trump before Tuesday’s election.
Trump later that evening blasted Gillespie in a tweet from South Korea after the race in Virginia had gotten called.
“Ed Gillespie worked hard but did not embrace me or what I stand for,” he wrote while overseas on a 12-day tour of Asia.
“Don’t forget, Republicans won 4 out of 4 House seats, and with the economy doing record numbers, we will continue to win, even bigger than before!” Trump added.
Four out of the last five governors in Virginia have been Democrats, and the commonwealth has established a reputation as a swing state.