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by Brandon Jarvis

(An earlier version of this story indicated that Republicans only flipped six seats, but due to a reporting issue in the Virginia Beach area, a seventh seat, HD-85, actually flipped to Republican control.)

After a long night of vote counting across the commonwealth, Virginia Republicans seem poised to take the House of Delegates by a slight majority for the next two years. This is on top of winning statewide races for governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general.

Democrats went into the night with a 55-45 majority, but they saw that majority slowly dwindle away as the results from close races trickled in well after midnight. 

Republican challengers that are poised to unseat Democrats include Jason Ballard in HD-12 over Del. Chris Hurst, Otto Wachsman in HD-75 over Del. Roslyn Tyler, Tara Durant over Del. Josh Cole in HD-28, Tim Anderson over Del. Nancy Guy in HD-83, A.C. Cordoza over Del. Martha Mugler in HD-91, Karen GreenHalgh over Del. Alex Askew in HD-85 and Kim Taylor over Del. Lachrecse Aird in HD-63.

“It’s official: Virginians have completely rejected the failed policies of the liberals running Richmond and voted for a brighter future full of supported small businesses, empowered parents, and safer streets,” said Republican State Legislative Committee President Dee Duncan in a statement early Wednesday morning. “As I said earlier tonight, this success was a culmination of months of hard work for the RSLC, as we supported the right candidates, developed the right messages, and executed the right strategies to overcome a 2:1 spending disadvantage driven by national liberals like Barack Obama, Eric Holder, Nancy Pelosi, and Stacey Abrams.” 

House Democrats have not released any statements at this time. They spent most of the night preparing for a potential power-sharing situation as the tally sat at 50-50 for hours until Chesterfield reported their absentee votes after midnight. After the Chesterfield votes were reported, Taylor had more than a 700-vote lead over Aird in a district that was federally redrawn in 2019 to make the districts around it bluer, putting more Republicans in Aird’s district. She was able to win the district again in 2019, but the Republican enthusiasm this year was hard to overcome.

Republicans have already begun making moves to take over the Speakership. Long time Del. Terry Kilgore (Scott) started making calls Tuesday night with the goal of taking over the Republican House caucus from the current leader, Del. Todd Gilbert.

“While the results across the Commonwealth were not what we were hoping for last night, we have several races that will determine the majority that are still within the margins with votes still to be counted until Friday,” Speaker of the House Eileen Filler-Corn said in a statement Wednesday. “We are going to make sure every Virginian’s voice is heard and every vote is counted.”

Developments are still happening across the Virginia political landscape. Stay with Virginia Scope for continuing coverage. 

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By vascope