While much attention was payed to Democratic candidates that won governor's races in both New Jersey and Virginia, two African American candidates also won statewide office. Both Sheila Oliver of New jersey and Justin Fairfax of Virginia were elected as Lieutenant Governors of their prospective states.
New Jersey elected Sheila Oliver as its first female African-American lieutenant governor. Oliver is no stranger to breaking records: She became the first African-American woman to be elected as Assembly speaker in New Jersey and only the second black female speaker in U.S. history.
“This may not be the first glass ceiling I have broken, but it is certainly the highest,” Oliver said during Democrat Phil Murphy’s victory party. “And I hope somewhere in this great state of New Jersey, a young girl of color is watching tonight and realizing that she does not have a limit to how high she can go.”
Democrat Justin Fairfax was elected to become Virginia’s next lieutenant governor. With his victory, the former federal prosecutor will be the second African-American to win statewide in Virginia.
“I am so grateful for this opportunity,” Fairfax said during a statewide victory party, according to WJLA-TV. “We are changing the course of history in this commonwealth.”