NORFOLK -- Democratic state Sen. Ralph Northam defeated Republican E.W. Jackson in a race sharply defined by social issues.
Republican E.W. Jackson sounded anything but a loser as he rallied a downcast crowd at GOP election headquarters after losing the race for Virginia's lieutenant governor.
Saying he was "unbroken, unbowed," the lawyer-turned-preached gave a stirring address Tuesday night in Richmond to supporters after his loss to Democrat Ralph Northam.
The 61-year-old political novice energized a crowd that was downcast by the defeat of its Republican nominee for governor, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli.
Asked as he left the stage if this was a concession, Jackson said it was "motivational, inspirational" speech.
That race for lieutenant governor is important for many reasons, but the most significant one might be simple mathematics.
Currently in Virginia, that job belongs to outgoing Republican Bolling, who has held the post for eight years, giving the GOP working control of the chamber and its committee assignments.
Northam easily beat Jackson on Tuesday following a campaign that centered on Northam's defense of abortion rights and Jackson's Christian-based anti-abortion platform. Jackson also opposes gay marriage, while Northam supports it.
The winner succeeds Republican Bill Bolling. A Democrat hasn't occupied the office since U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine was lieutenant governor in 2006.
The State Senate is evenly divided - 20 Republicans and 20 Democrats - and the lieutenant governor has the tie-breaking vote by virtue of his ceremonial position as President of the Senate.
The lieutenant governor presides over the state Senate and casts a ballot on tie votes.
Northam, 54, is a pediatric neurologist at Children's Hospital of the Kings Daughters in Norfolk. He's an Eastern Shoe native and graduate of Virginia Military Institute. Previously, he served as an Army medic. He has been a member of the State Senate since 2008.
Northam tells 13 News Now that the most important attribute he has is his ability to build consensus to find solutions.
"My profession is being a healer and bringing people together," he said in a sit-down interview Tuesday. "And so I hope to bring Republicans and Democrats together and move Virginia forward."