Republicans on Tuesday retained control of the Virginia Senate with state Sen. Dick Black (R-Loudoun County) defeating Democrat Jill McCabe by a 52-47 percent margin with 100 percent of precincts reporting.
Glen Sturtevant, a member of the Richmond School Board, defeated Democratic Chesterfield County Supervisor Daniel Gecker by a 50-47 percent margin in the race to succeed retiring state Sen. John Watkins (R-Powhatan County). Democrat Jeremy McPike defeated Hal Parrish by a 54-46 percent margin with 100 percent of precincts reporting.
Gay state Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria) easily won re-election.
James Parrish, executive director of Equality Virginia, a statewide advocacy group, noted to the Washington Blade during a post-election telephone interview that Watkins voted in support of LGBT-specific issues. Parrish added that his organization will work with Sturtevant on the aforementioned topics.
“We have a long history of working on bi-partisan support on our issues,” Parrish told the Blade. “All of our LGBT-friendly bills that have passed out of the Senate have been because of Republicans.”
State Del. Mark Sickles (D-Fairfax County), who came out as gay last year, defeated Republican Anna Urman by a 63-33 percent margin with 100 percent of precincts reporting.
Mark Levine, a gay rights attorney and former congressional staffer, will succeed outgoing state Del. Rob Krupicka (D-Alexandria) in the Virginia House of Delegates. Anti-LGBT state Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William County) defeated Democrat Donald Shaw by a 56-44 percent margin with 100 percent of precincts reporting.
Political observers noted the election was largely a referendum on Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s legislative agenda that included his support of expanded Medicaid in the commonwealth. The Democratic governor also intensified his efforts in support of gun control in the wake of the August murders of WDBJ reporter Alison Parker and her cameraman, Adam Ward, that took place during a live television broadcast.
McCabe in a campaign ad that aired in the D.C. media market ahead of the election highlighted Black’s controversial comments against gays and lesbians. Marriage rights for same-sex couples and other LGBT-specific issues did not appear to garner much traction ahead of Tuesday’s vote.
State Del. Joseph Yost (R-Giles County) — the first statewide Republican lawmaker in Virginia to publicly back nuptials for gays and lesbians — defeated Democrat Laurie Buchwald by a 58-42 percent margin with slightly more than 97 percent of precincts reporting.
“Tonight’s results reflect a major turning point for Virginia Republicans,” said Republican Party of Virginia Chair John Whitbeck in a statement. “After years of struggling with infighting, the party is once again united behind the common goal of electing Republicans at every level of government.”
Democrat Dalia Palchik defeated Patty Reed, a Republican Fairfax County School Board member who voted against a pro-LGBT measure earlier this year, by a 58-41 percent margin with 100 percent of precincts reporting.
Ted Velkoff, an at-large board member who backed the proposal and two others that banned anti-LGBT discrimination in the Fairfax County School District, lost his re-election bid.
Equality Virginia endorsed Palchik in her race against Reed. The organization also supported the incumbents who backed the pro-LGBT measures.
“We felt it was very important to get involved in the Fairfax County race,” Parrish told the Blade.
Anti-LGBT Loudoun County Supervisor Eugene Delgaudio on Tuesday lost to Koran Saines by a 48-51 percent margin.
Gay Republican makes history in Md.
Michael Estève, chapter leader of Log Cabin Republicans of Maryland, on Tuesday became the first openly gay Republican candidate elected to public office in the state with his victory in his Bowie City Council race.
Estève told the Washington Blade during a brief telephone interview that he did not take any funds from Log Cabin Republicans for his campaign.
“Every individual who supported me was for me,” he said.
Preliminary results indicate College Park City Councilmember Patrick Wojahn will become the city’s first openly gay mayor after defeating Denise Mitchell by a 1,236-846 vote margin. Out Councilmember P.J. Brennan is ahead of Monroe Dennis in the District 2 race by a 25 vote margin.