Last month it looked like Republicans were poised to not only win the governorship. lt. governorship and attorney general in Virginia but to also take control over the VA House of Delegates after flipping 7 seats. The certified results in two of those races showed the Republican candidate with a slight lead; however, under Virginia law if the final tally is within 1/2 of one percent, the challenger can request a recount. One of those recounts was completed last Friday and the Republican was indeed the winner:
A three-judge panel overseeing a recount in a close Virginia Beach state House race upheld the Republican candidate’s victory on Friday, a decision that also reaffirms the GOP’s takeover of the chamber and completes the party’s sweep of last month’s elections…
The certified results from the election showed Republicans leading in 52 districts and the Democrats leading in 48. The recount in the 85th District race resulted in Democratic incumbent Alex Askew gaining 12 votes, but he still trailed Republican challenger Karen Greenhalgh by 115 votes. There was one contested ballot. The panel found that the intent of the voter was unclear, so that ballot was not counted for either candidate…
“While this is not the outcome we hoped for, I continue to be filled with optimism for the future of our Commonwealth and of the city of Virginia Beach,” [Askew] said in a statement.
Askew was the incumbent in that race, so it counts as a flip. And that means Republicans now hold at least 51 seats and have flipped the chamber. A 50-50 split was possible if Democrats had overturned the certified results in both of the challenged races. There is still one recount left and that is set to take place tomorrow:
A second recount will get underway Tuesday in Hampton, where incumbent Del. Martha M. Mugler (D) trails Republican A.C. Cordoza in the certified results by 94 votes out of 27,836 votes cast.
Given that there was only one contested ballot in the 85th district, chances of Mugler overcoming a 94 vote lead seems very slim. We should have a final result by Wednesday.
Democrats still do control the state Senate in Virginia, albeit narrowly by 21-19.
Here’s a local news report from last Friday when Karen Greenhalgh’s win was confirmed by the recount: