Not as high profile as the other races last night but multiple outlets are now reporting that, at a minimum, Republicans have achieved a 50-50 split in the Virginia House of Delegates, ending Democratic control of the chamber. Several races are still too close to call, but it’s looking like the GOP has a chance at 51 or 52 seats when it’s all over.
House Minority Leader Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah) declared around 1:40 a.m. Wednesday that the GOP had retaken control of the chamber.
“Virginia voters made an historic statement, delivering a clear rebuke of the failed policies of the last two years and electing Republicans up and down the ballot,” he said in a statement.
With all 100 House seats in play and all but nine races contested, Republicans needed to flip at least six seats to retake the majority, given that Democrats held only a 55-45 majority going into the elections.
Early Wednesday, unofficial returns showed Republican Kim Taylor overtaking Del. Lashrecse Aird (D-Petersburg), leading Republicans to declare that they had taken control of the chamber. On Wednesday afternoon, the Associated Press called the race for Taylor.
Here’s the current state of affairs according to the NY Times tracking of all 100 races. Republicans have won 50 seats and Democrats have won 46 which leaves just four yet to be called. Currently all of those are close but two of them, where the Republican is leading, are within a few hundred votes.
In the 91st District Republican challenger A.C. Cordoza leads Democratic incumbent Martha Mugler by fewer than 300 votes:
Cordoza had 13,790 votes, or 49.7%, while Mugler had 13,511, or 48.7% and Libertarian Party candidate Charles West polled 416, or 1.5%, according to unofficial results from Election Day voters, early in-person voters and some mailed-in absentee ballots…
Her campaign raised more than $603,000 as of late October, compared to just under $51,000 for Cordoza.
The Virginia election system allows any ballot which was postmarked by election day and received by November 5 to be counted. Given that the race is so tight, we’ll have to wait for a final tally sometime Friday to know who won. Also, because of the narrow margin the loser could call for a recount.
The race in District 85 is even closer. Republican Karen Greenhalgh leads Democratic incumbent Alex Askew by 202 votes. Greenhalgh has 14,202 votes to Askew’s 14,000. As a percentage that works out to 50.31% to 49.59%.
The race in District 21 is also razor thin, with the Democrat leading by about 200 votes. But if nothing shifts either way in the next two days, the GOP will wind up with 52 seats to Democrats’ 48 seats, having flipped seven.