December 19, 2017 at 6:07 pm EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Republicans poised to lose control of Va. House of Delegates

Virginia, gay news, Washington Blade

Republicans are poised to lose control of the Virginia House of Delegates after a Democrat won a recount by one vote. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Republicans on Tuesday appear to have lost control of the Virginia House of Delegates after a Democrat won a recount by one vote.

Election officials said Shelly Simonds beat state Del. David Yancey (R-Newport News) by an 11,608-11,607 vote margin.

The Washington Post reported that Yancey was ahead of Simonds by 10 votes going into the recount that took place on Tuesday. A three-judge panel is expected to certify the results on Wednesday.

“I knew it was going to be a roller coaster ride and the counts were going to change and votes were going to shift around, but I had faith in the system and final outcome,” Simonds told the Post.

Republicans have controlled the House of Delegates since 2000.

Simonds’ victory creates a rare tie between Democrats and Republicans in the chamber. Officials certified the results of her race more than a month after Democrats picked up more than a dozen seats in the House of Delegates.

Danica Roem (D-Manassas) — who defeated state Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William County) — will become the first openly transgender person seated in the country when she is sworn in on Jan. 10. Dawn Adams — who defeated state Del. Manoli Loupassi (R-Richmond) — is the first openly lesbian woman elected to the Virginia General Assembly.

Democrats Ralph Northam and Justin Fairfax will be sworn in as governor and lieutenant governor respectively on Jan. 13. Attorney General Mark Herring won re-election after defeating Republican John Adams.

“Christmas came early today for Virginia Democrats,” proclaimed Democratic Party of Virginia Chair Susan Swecker in a statement. “Today’s results should strike fear into the heart of every Republican on the ballot next year. By running on a platform of expanding health care and providing a great public education to all, Shelly not only won the support of her community — she ended 17 years of Republican control in the General Assembly.”

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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