Ralph Northam
Ralph Northam is sworn in as Virginia's lieutenant governor by retired Judge Glen Tyler in Richmond, Virginia, Jan. 11, 2014. Reuters/ Mike Theiler

Virginia’s Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam won the Democratic primary for governor Tuesday, defeating former Rep. Tom Perriello while Republican Ed Gillespie had a narrow win after a tough challenge from President Donald Trump’s ardent follower Corey Stewart, the Associated Press reported.

A low-key pediatric neurologist, Northam delivered a fiery victory speech Tuesday before winning the Democratic primary. “It is time for us to get back on offense and stop playing so many defenses,” he said, the AP reported.

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Northam, who has pledged to fight Trump, said he will also work with Republican lawmakers on several issues such as tax overhaul, Business Insider reported.

Perriello conceded defeat about 90 minutes after the polls closed. Addressing his supporters at the State Theatre, Perriello said: “Together we helped elevate mainstream ideas that should have been there all along,” citing his support for a $15 minimum wage as an example. “I think it’s movements that change the world, and politicians who work as allies to that movement,” he told supporters.

The 42-year-old also praised Northam for his “great victory, and offered him full and unequivocal support.”

He also posted a tweet congratulating Northam and vowing to take back the House from the Republicans.

On the other hand, Northam celebrated his victory at a restaurant in Arlington. “We agreed that we’re going to bring all Democrats under the tent starting tonight. This is too important an election. This is the bellwether of the country,” he said in his victory speech.

Vowing to work with Perriello’s supporters, Northam said,” We’re all in this together,” the Washington Post reported.

Northam will face Gillespie in the race for Virginia’s next governor. A former Republican National Committee (RNC) chairman, Gillespie faced a serious challenge from Corey Stewart, the chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors. While Gillespie had his stronghold in Fairfax County, Stewart scored big in Loudon County, Prince William County as well as rural central and southwest regions of the state.

As Stewart grew a step closer to win, Gillespie’s supporters who had gathered at Hilton Hotel ballroom in the Richmond suburbs, expressed shock and disappointment. “I’m shocked. If Donald Trump didn’t carry the state of Virginia, I don’t know how Corey is going to,” Nancy Russell, former Hanover County chairwoman said.

However, things turned out in Gillespie’s favor, who is now gearing up to face Northam in the general election scheduled to take place in November. Gillespie took to Twitter to thank his supporters for his victory.

The Virginia gubernatorial election will take place Nov. 7. The new governor will replace the current Governor Terry McAuliffe. Virginia is the only state that prohibits its governor from serving consecutive terms.