RICHMOND, Va.- (AP) Republican Bob McDonnell has easily won the Virginia governor’s race just a year after the state went overwhelmingly for President Barack Obama and the Democrats.
Unofficial results show the former attorney general defeating Creigh Deeds and returning a Republican to the governor’s office for the first time in eight years.
This race and the contest for governor of New Jersey are viewed as the first referendum on the president and the Democratic Congress before the 2010 mid-term elections.
A year ago, Obama became the first Democrat in 44 years to carry Virginia in a presidential race.
This time voters expressed angst about major Obama initiatives such as health care, energy and stimulus spending. But McDonnell dominated the campaign’s central issues: jobs and the economy.
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