One vote ends GOP majority in Va. state house

Michele Moreno
December 21, 2017

Democrats in Virginia and across the country celebrated Simonds victory, which comes after Democrats made sweeping gains across the state in last month's elections, including victories in both the governor and lieutenant governor races.

The court's decision leaves the race for the 94th District tied at 11,608 votes each for Yancey and Simonds.

In the case of a tie in a House race, state law says the victor is chosen by lot - essentially, a coin toss.

There will be a recount Wednesday in the 68th District, which includes parts of Richmond, Henrico, and Chesterfield.

Based on certified election results, Republicans would have controlled the chamber 51-49.

Republicans said Wednesday there are no plans to vote on their current leadership team, led by Del. But on Wednesday morning Yancey's campaign asked the court to accept a ballot that had been tossed aside as an overvote.

Control of the state House will likely be determined by the victor of the race.

While Lt. Gov. -elect Justin Fairfax can break tie votes in the state Senate, which is split 21 to 19 in Republicans' favor, a tied House of Delegates will likely force some kind of power-sharing agreement between the two parties.

An election official was challenging one ballot after the Newport News Va. House of Delegates recount was decided by one vote Tuesday. It would mean a rare power-sharing agreement may have to be brokered.

The recount is the first to flip the results of a Virginia House race in at least 20 years, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. But that process seemed less likely to be of effect, given that Democrat Dawn Adams was 336 votes ahead of Republican incumbent Del.

Election officials in Newport News on Tuesday will rescan ballots cast in the 94th District.

One tiny bit of good news for Democrats on an otherwise depressing day came on Tuesday afternoon. A three-judge panel still must certify the results, an event scheduled for Wednesday.

The additional vote for Yancey meant each candidate finished with exactly 11,608 votes.

Democrat Shelly Simonds beat incumbent Republican David Yancey in the 94th District race by a margin of a single vote, said Trent Armitage, executive director of the Virginia House Democratic Caucus. However, the bubble for Gillespie had an X mark and the bubble for Simonds had a slash-like mark.

In a recount today, Democrat Shelly Simonds emerged a single vote ahead of Republican incumbent Del.

Other reports by Insurance News

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