January 27, 2014 | by Michael K. Lavers
Virginia Democrats regain control of state Senate

Virginia Senate, gay news, Washington Blade

Virginia Senate (Photo by Waldo Jaquith/Wikimedia Commons)

Democrats on Monday regained control of the Virginia Senate after state election officials certified state Del. Lynwood Lewis (D-Accomack County) narrowly won a recount in the race to succeed Lieutenant Gov. Ralph Northam.

Lewis defeated Norfolk businessman Wayne Coleman by 11 votes — the Democrat beat his Republican rival by nine votes in the Jan. 7 special election.

“Congratulations to Lynwood Lewis on his election as the next senator from the Sixth Senate District of Virginia,” said Northam in a statement on Monday. “I was very pleased to hear that Senator-elect Lewis’ victory was upheld today during the recount, and I want to also thank Wayne Coleman for running in this special election.”

Gov. Terry McAuliffe also applauded Lewis.

“I’d like to congratulate Lynwood Lewis for his victory in Virginia’s Sixth Senate District election and commend Wayne Coleman for participating in this process with professionalism and respect,” said the governor.

Former Loudoun County prosecutor Jennifer Wexton last week defeated Republican John Whitbeck and former state Del. Joe T. May in the special election to succeed Attorney General Mark Herring in the state Senate. Wexton officially took office on Jan. 24.

“I am glad that the process of filling each vacant seat in the General Assembly is now complete,” said McAuliffe on Monday. “I look forward to working with Lynwood and members of both parties in the General Assembly to tackle the challenges facing Virginia’s economy and communities.”

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

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