Thursday, December 2, 2021

Virginia Dems concede defeat, say Republicans control the House

RICHMOND, VA (AP) – Democratic leaders in Virginia acknowledged Friday that Republicans have gained control of the House of Representatives.

The Associated Press has yet to call all Virginia house races. But the concession meant Republicans would complete an electoral sweep in which they also reclaimed the offices of governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general.

House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn issued a statement acknowledging the GOP majority shortly after Democrat Del Martha Mugler lost a tough race against Republican challenger AC Cordoza in the 91st House District, located in Virginia’s Hampton Roads area. With Mugler’s concession, Republicans now hope to capture at least 51 seats in the 100-member House.

“While the election results were not in our favor, our work for the people of Virginia continues,” Filler-Korn said.

Garren Shipley, spokesman for House Republican Leader Todd Gilbert, said Filler-Corn called Gilbert on Friday. “The House Republican caucus applauds her pledge for a smooth transition to the coming majority,” Shipley said.

The GOP’s victory is seen as a backlash against the Democratic majority, which has pushed through a series of progressive reforms over the past two years, including repealing the death penalty, easing abortion restrictions and legalizing marijuana. Includes making.

Democrats have a slim 21-19 majority in the Senate. Senators are not up for re-election until 2023.

Tuesday’s marquee race in Virginia was a gubernatorial contest, in which Republican businessman Glenn Youngkin defeated former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe. The GOP also took on the office of lieutenant governor after Republican Winsome Sears defeated Democrat Hala Ayala, and the office of attorney general with Republican Jason Mieras’ victory over Democratic two-term Mark Herring. Sears will be the state’s first female lieutenant governor and the first woman in Virginia to win the statewide office.

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Youngkin’s victory and the nearly defeat of the Democratic governor of New Jersey have raised fears that Democrats will lose control of Congress in next year’s midterm elections.

Democrats won a 55-45 majority in Tuesday’s election.

Republicans had controlled the House since 2000, but Democrats won 15 GOP-held seats in 2017, helped by voter hostility toward then-President Donald Trump. In 2019, Democrats took full control of the legislature by eliminating a low Republican majority in the House and Senate.

Among the surprise victories this year was over three-term Democrat Dale Lasherese Aired in the 63rd district by Republican Kim Taylor, giving the Republican her 50th seat on Wednesday. Aird claimed victory late Tuesday, but Taylor’s late bounce saw him win by 741 votes.

Democrat Wendy Gooditis won re-election to her third term in District 10, defeating Republican challenger Nick Clemente, a political newcomer. The Northern Virginia district of Gooditis includes parts of rapidly growing Loudoun County and rural areas of Clark and Frederick Counties.

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Associated Press writer Sarah Rankin in Richmond, Virginia, contributed to this report.

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