RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Business news network CNBC has named Virginia this year’s “Top State for Business.”

The award is welcome news for Democrats who control state government and are defending their record during a critical election year. In a competitive governor’s race, jobs and the economy have been a central issue.

Virginia has now won the award five times, surpassing Texas for most years as at the top.

CNBC did not publish the rankings in 2020 because of the pandemic.

In a statement, Gov. Ralph Northam said the “coveted recognition” speaks well for the policies Democrats have enacted since taking control of state government in 2019.