Republican Bloodbath: 12 House GOP Members Unseated

Nov 10, 2017

Credit AP Photo / Steve Helber

A dozen House members are packing up their offices in Richmond and headed home after being fired by voters this week. Michael Pope has this look at the unseated.

Earlier this year, three Republican incumbents in left-leaning districts decided against running for another term. They all got out before the bloodbath that happened this election cycle, when 12 House GOP members were unseated: four from Prince William, three from Loudoun, two from Henrico, two from Virginia Beach and one from the New River Valley. Former Congressman Tom Perriello says this shows Democrats can win all over the state.

“We’re winning in rural Virginia, small-town Virginia, exurbs, suburbs and the cities. And I think that means we have an opportunity not just to have a great governor-elect in Ralph Northam. But finally legislature that isn’t hindered by gerrymandering from actually doing the people’s business and moving us forward.”

Quentin Kidd at Christopher Newport University says he’s reminded of a debate he moderated on campus two years ago between Republican Senate Leader Tommy Norment and Democratic Leader Dick Saslaw.

"At this debate, Tommy Norment famously said the Democrats will not take back the House of Delegates in our lifetimes, and that was just two years ago. So in politics lifetimes can be very short.”

Four the 11 of the Republican House members unseated this year were on the Appropriations Committee, and one was the budget conferee. So even if Republicans manage to maintain a one-vote majority, the balance of power is certain to shift next year.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.