Virginia House Dems to vote on would-be speaker

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

After an election recount that appears to give them a tying vote in their chamber, Virginia House Democrats plan to meet Wednesday to select a would-be speaker. The Republicans' commanding 66-34 majority in the House sank to 51-49.

Tim Hugo, a member of the House Republican leadership team.

Barring any last-minute challenges in court, if Simonds victory is certified, Republicans and Democrats in the House of Delegates will need to come to a power-sharing agreement.

Now, the victor will be determined "by lot", according to state law, and that could mean pulling a name out of a hat, a coin toss - or drawing straws.

Power sharing in the House of Delegates is an awkward exercise.

Shelly Simonds beat three-term incumbent Republican Del.

Control of the Virginia state House of Delegates is still up for grabs as Republicans appear to have lost a 16-seat majority with a one-vote defeat in a dramatic recount election.

The official, Kenneth Mallory, wrote that the ballot had both candidates' names bubbled in for the 94th District race. A recount for that race is scheduled to begin tomorrow, but the fact that at least 147 voters were given the wrong ballots in that contest - prompting the request for a new election - is considered a bigger factor. The two were battling for the 94th District in Newport News. When the process was complete, Simonds wound up ahead with 11,608 votes to Yancey's 11,607.

On Wednesday, Democrat Shelly Simonds was declared the apparent victor in the race for the 94th District, beating incumbent Republican David Yancey after a wild recount gave Simonds a win by one vote, flipped a red seat to blue, and created a 50-50 tie between the two parties in the Virginia House.

The outsize impact of the one-vote margin came after other close results in off-year elections across the country.

Simonds's recount victory comes after an Election Day shake-up.

A fourth recount in the Fairfax County-centered 40th District confirmed the victor as incumbent Del.

On Wednesday, officials were recounting ballots cast in Richmond's District 68, where the Democrat leads by 336 votes.

"I may become Landslide Shelly", she said.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez also congratulated Simonds on her victory, and alluded to the potential for Democrats to pass more progressive legislation in the state.

  • Joey Payne