by Brandon Jarvis

Democrats Candi King (Prince William) and Angelia Williams Graves (Norfolk) are the newest members of the Virginia House of Delegates after winning special elections on Tuesday.

King defeated her Republican opponent Heather Mitchell in HD-02 after Del. Jennifer Carroll Foy resigned in December to focus her attention on running for Governor. Graves defeated her Republican opponent Sylvia Bryant in HD-90 after Del. Joe Lindsay resigned his seat when he was appointed to the Norfolk General District Court.

“Candi [King] & Angelia [Williams Graves] are proven leaders who will make strong additions to our Democratic House Majority as we work to protect families, keep Virginians healthy & rebuild our economy stronger,” said Speaker of the House, Del. Eileen Filler-Corn.

Even though both districts have been safe seats for Democrats in recent elections, leaders of the party expressed worry about voter turnout for the special election. Sources close to Speaker Filler-Corn told Virginia Scope prior to the election that she was not taking these races lightly in an effort to protect their 10-seat Democratic majority in the House.

The worry proved to be reasonable. King secured victory by only three points, a tremendous drop-off compared to Foy’s 21-point win in 2019.

According to the unofficial results from the Department of Elections, King ran up the score in Prince William County winning by 1,426 votes. Mitchell was unable to make up for that difference in the more conservative Stafford County – winning by only 1,163 votes. That is a total difference of 263 votes.

“I am grateful to our many volunteers and am proud of the broad coalition of labor unions and grassroots advocacy groups whose herculean efforts in a compressed time period propelled our team to victory tonight,” said King, after winning the race.

Graves won her race handily by 27 points in a district that has not seen a Republican challenger in several election cycles. “WE DID IT! Thank you to the voters of the 90th District for believing in me,” tweeted Graves after winning the race. “I am excited to be your next delegate!”

“I want to publicly thank Sylvia Bryant and Heather Mitchell for their hard work as our nominees in the 90th and 2nd House Districts. It takes a special kind of person to stand for public office,” said House Republican Leader, Del. Todd Gilbert.

The General Assembly is scheduled to convene on January 13th.

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By vascope

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