On social media, they distributed messages bearing the Ethiopian flag, distributed in both English and Amharic, that echoed that sentiment. And they also went in person, speaking to potential voters at Ethiopian Orthodox churches in areas like Fairfax’s Skyline Plaza.

Elias Hiruy, who helped coordinate the effort and said he often has voted for Democrats, said he recognized that the Virginia governor does not hold direct influence over the United States. But he said that Democrats would hear the message.

“It’s not a local issue. It’s a party issue, but they’re all connected,” Hiruy said. “By protesting Terry McAuliffe, we make sure they’re protested all the way up.”

Meronne Teklu, an Ethiopian American who ran in the Democratic primary for Alexandria City Council and voted for McAuliffe, said there were lessons to be learned from the shift in the Ethiopian vote in Virginia.

“If we are moving in the same trajectory of what we saw in the last election cycle here in Virginia, then I think we have a lot of work to do,” she said. “This issue isn’t going to go away. We’re just going to continue seeing this play out in the midterm elections.”

Rachel Chason contributed to this report.