Democrats see big wins over Republicans in US elections

Virginia also elected its first openly transgender state representative

Democrats see big wins over Republicans in US elections

Chris Hurst (front, wearing tie) is seen marching in the Virginia Tech Homecoming Parade | Image via @ChrisHurstVA on Twitter

A man whose girlfriend was killed live on US TV has won a seat in Virginia's house of delegates on a night the Democrats appeared to begin a fightback against Donald Trump.

Ex-news anchor Chris Hurst was dating reporter Alison Parker when she was fatally shot in the head and chest during a live WDBJ-TV interview in August 2015.

Cameraman Adam Ward (27) was also killed in the attack, which was carried out by former station employee Vester Flanagan, who later took his own life during a police chase.

Following the shooting, Mr Hurst, who had just moved in with Ms Parker, became the public face of the Roanoke-based station.

He later left the job and moved to Blacksburg in order to run for election.

Mr Hurst beat three-term incumbent Republican Joseph Yost on a night where anti-Trump candidates fared well.

Democrat Ralph Northam beat Republican Ed Gillespie in the race for Virginia governor to seize his party's first major Trump-era victory.

In the most significant elections since Mr Trump came to power, Democrats also scored victories in a governorship races in New Jersey and in Maine.

The Democratic mayors of New York and Boston, both vocal Trump critics, also won re-election easily.

Virginia voters also elected the state's first openly transgender state representative, among more than a dozen state legislative wins for Democrats.

Danica Roem, centre, who ran and won for the house of delegates against GOP incumbent Robert Marshall | Image: Jahi Chikwendiu/AP/Press Association Images

Democrat and former newspaper reporter Danica Roem (33) beat Republican Robert Marshall, who once described himself as Virginia's "chief homophobe".

"The Democratic Party is back, my friends," said Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez.