"It's been a tough two years, but tonight America's biggest state is making the biggest statement in America," Newsom told a crowd of supporters in Los Angeles.
Newsom, 51, California's lieutenant governor since 2011, defeated Republican challenger John Cox for the governorship of the nation's most populous state, according to NBC News. Cox had been endorsed by Trump. Newsom will become the state's 40th governor, succeeding Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, who leaves office in January.
"We're saying unmistakably — and in unison — that it's time to roll the credits on the politics of chaos and the politics of cruelty," said Newsom, who is a former mayor of San Francisco. "Now is time for going far and going together. Now is the time for decency, for facts, for trust, and now is the time for truth."
Newsom's victory and comments also come as the political world starts to look ahead to the 2020 race for the White House. The governor-elect has said he isn't interested in running for president, but his name is often mentioned in the mix of possible Democratic hopefuls.
Newsom, who criticized Trump during the gubernatorial campaign, will lead a state with a thriving technology industry but one where the agriculture industry is feeling the impact of the administration's trade war with China. California has the nation's largest agriculture industry but high tariffs from China and others have hurt exports of wine, dairy as well as nuts, cotton and fresh fruit.
California also faces high poverty, homelessness and housing affordability challenges. Still, Newsom will inherit a state with a budget surplus and an unemployment rate as of September of 4.1 percent — the lowest since 1976. The state faced a budget shortfall a decade ago and was on the brink of fiscal meltdown.
"Now is time for going far and and going together," Newsom said. "Now is the time for decency, for facts, for trust, and now is the time for truth. Now is the time for leaders to lead. And to those agents of anger determined to divide us instead of unite us, it's time to pack it up and for you to pack it in."
Newsom has been a backer of the state's controversial sanctuary state laws that are designed to protect undocumented immigrants from deportation. Cox, a conservative attorney and businessman, railed against California's sanctuary laws during the gubernatorial campaign.
"This isn't a state where...we criminalize diversity; we celebrate diversity," Newsom said. "We don't reject; we protect the most vulnerable."
Newsom made reference to the Trump administration's controversial border policy of separating children from families. "We don't lock kids in cages," Newsom said.
He went on to describe California as a state that cares about the environment, including clean air and water. The state of California is currently suing the federal government over a variety of policies announced by the Trump administration, including some over car emission rules.
The Democrat also boasted that the state is the country's "greatest job creator and the fifth-largest economy in the world."
Through September, California's job growth rate has outpaced the nation since early 2012, on a year-over-year basis. However, job growth is expected to slow in all five of the state's major metropolitan areas in 2019, according to a forecast released last month by Los Angeles-based research firm Beacon Economics.