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Big boost for US Democrats

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By Catherine Hardy  with REUTERS
Big boost for US Democrats

<p>Democrats have won two significant victories in the US in the first statewide elections since Donald Trump came to power.</p> <p>Democrats have been eager for positive news after defeat in four congressional special elections this year.</p> <p>Analysts are taking the results as an early indication of how next year’s midterm congressional elections could turn out, despite a surge in grassroots opposition to the US president.</p> <h3><strong>What happened where</strong></h3> <p>In Virginia, Ralph Northam defeated Republican Ed Gillespie in a governorship contest defined by differences over immigration and Confederate status.</p> <p>The Democrat offered to work with President Trump. He had previously called him a “narcissistic maniac”.</p> <p>Voters in the state also made history by electing their first openly transgender state legislator.</p> <p>The 32-year-old journalist and stepmother Danica Roem ousted a long-time, pro-Trump Republican.</p> <p>The new governor of New Jersey will be Phil Murphy, who saw off competition from Kim Guadagno. The incumbent, Republican Chris Christie, has been in the post for eight years.</p> <p>New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was re-elected comfortably.</p>