Fightin’ Joe Morrissey reclaims seat in 74th house district that he was ordered to vacate

Posted at 2:14 PM, Jan 13, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-14 00:37:30-05

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. - The polls closed at  7 p.m., in Virginia's 74th House District, and the results of the special election were quickly counted.

According to the State Board of Election data,  Joe Morrissey won with 2,840 votes.

Voters had to decide who will represent them when the General Assembly session begins Wednesday, Jan. 14. The 74th district consists of parts of Richmond plus portions Henrico and Charles City Counties.

Only voters registered in the district were allowed to vote in Tuesday's special election. They chose Morrissey, who resigned his seat after entering an Alford Plea for charges he had an inappropriate relationship with a teenage staffer at his law office, is running as an independent.

He was asked by the Democrat party to vacate the seat. Morrissey obliged, and then the next day announced he would run as an independent in the special election.

Democrats nominated Charles City County resident Kevin Sullivan as their candidate.  U.S. Senator Tim Kaine and U.S. Representative Bobby Scott endorsed Sullivan.

Glen Allen High School teacher Matt Walton was the Republican nominee.  Newly elected U.S. Representative Dave Bratt had voiced support for Walton.

Morrissey won with 42.26% of the vote, and Kevin Sullivan trailed behind by nine percent, with 33.37% of the vote.

74th District Candidates

Voter turnout is historically low in special elections, but that was overtly evident at Moody Middle School in Henrico.  Precinct 216 only saw one voter in the first four and a half hours they were open, polling officials said.

Political analysts believed Sullivan and Morrissey had the best chance to win the seat because the area traditionally votes for the Democratic candidate.  If Morrissey is re-elected, many political pundits believe the General Assembly would try to have him removed from office.

Morrissey has held the seat since 2007.

[viral zone = "home-page-top-stories'}