When Democrat Onzlee Ware of the 11th District of the Virginia House of Delegates announced his retirement it opened the door for a republican sweep of western Virginia but a democrat won in yesterday’s special election. Sam Rasoul defeated former Roanoke Sheriff Octavia Johnson with 70-percent of the vote. The 11th District remains the only one west of Richmond represented by a democrat.
In a special election that could change control of the state senate a recount is likely.
It looks as though Virginia will have another recount on its hands, and just who will control the Senate, is still unknown.
In the race for the sixth district senate seat, left vacant by Lieutenant Governor-elect, Ralph Northam, it appears that Democrat Lynwood Lewis is ahead of Republican Wayne Coleman by just 22 votes.
With the state Senate now evenly split with 20 Democrats and 20 Republicans, and according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, if Democrats win the January 21st special election for Attorney General-elect Mark R. Herring’s seat, the chamber will remain split and the new lieutenant governor’s tie-breaking vote would tip the balance to the Democrats.
But if Republicans win either special election, they will have 21 votes, an outright majority in the Senate.
A recount will be on the minds of senate members as the General Assembly session starts today, three days ahead of Terry McAuliffe’s inauguration as governor.