Republicans have controlled the House of Delegates in Virginia for 19 years, but it's all over now, baby, we're blue.
The WaPo notes: "Republicans won the House in 2017 by the thinnest of margins when a state elections official pulled Republican candidate David E. Yancey's name from a bowl , breaking a tie with Democratic candidate Shelly Simonds."
But today Shelly Simonds won that rematch easily.
And Democrat Ghazala Hashmi won in a suburban Richmond district, and will be the first Muslim woman in the Senate.
The Hill reported, "The Democratic Party won control of the Virginia General Assembly on Tuesday, giving the party total control of the Old Dominion's state government for the first time since 1994... The early results are nothing short of a major win for Democrats, who now control every lever of power in what was considered a swing state just a few years ago. Democrats now control all three statewide elected offices, both U.S. Senate seats and both chambers of the General Assembly. Democrats also hold seven of Virginia's 11 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. Republicans had held out hope that they could save their majority by winning back some of the 15 seats Democrats captured in the 2017 wave. Instead, all 15 of those Democrats who first won in 2017 won reelection on Tuesday night."
Here's the backstory on Simonds from my OEN article last year:
"one vote can indeed make a huge difference. It did in Newport News, Virginia, last November, when 23,215 people cast their votes for state delegates.
At first, incumbent Republican Del. David Yancey won by 10 votes, but then they had a recount. After the recount, his opponent, Democrat Shelly Simonds, won by 1 vote. There was a big celebration -- Republicans had maintained control of the Virginia House since 2000, and the current balance was 51-49 before Simonds won. Her victory meant that Dems would have more power than they'd had in 17 years.
But the next thing you knew, something not completely clear happened with one of the votes. The judges debated behind closed doors for a couple of hours, and then made an announcement that the results were tied.
In Virginia, a tie is broken by the flip of a coin. Yancy won. If Simonds had gotten a couple more votes, or perhaps even one more vote, it would have been much harder to take her victory away, (whether removing it was completely legal, or not...which is a separate article!)
And that would have changed the balance of power in the state. Which would have affected the country, too. "All for want of a nail" as Ben Franklin famously noted. Or, in this case, a vote.
This happened in the district right next to mine...
This time, Simonds led 58 percent to 40 percent.
Virginia is poised for a new Democratic dawn.
Thank you, Mr. President, we couldn't have done it without you!