Handful of Virginia races that will determine the Democratic edge in both chambers remain uncalled

Posted at 12:02 PM, Nov 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-08 12:02:07-05

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Only a handful of ultra-competitive Virginia legislative races remained undecided late Wednesday morning after Democrats won enough contests to take control of both the House and Senate in a blow for Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin.

After Republican Tara Durant prevailed over Democrat Joel Griffin and independent Monica Gary in a northern Virginia Senate race, only one seat in that chamber was too early to call, along with two in the House of Delegates.

Those contests will determine the final margins in each chamber.

Democrats, who centered their message to voters around protecting abortion rights, won at least 21 seats in the 40-seat Senate and at least 51 in the 100-member House of Delegates.

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“Governor Youngkin and Virginia Republicans did everything they could to take total control of state government, but the people of the Commonwealth rejected them,” Susan Swecker, chairwoman of the Democratic Party of Virginia, said in a statement.

Senate Republicans conceded late Tuesday that Democrats had taken that chamber's majority. House Republicans had not issued any kind of statement as of mid-morning Wednesday.

Also uncalled by The Associated Press Wednesday morning was the Tidewater matchup between Democratic incumbent Monty Mason and his GOP challenger, Danny Diggs.

Diggs issued a statement claiming victory, but Mason's campaign said he was still waiting for final votes to come in.

In the House, Republican David Owen held a narrow lead over Democrat Susanna Gibson in a suburban Richmond race that drew significant attention after revelations that Gibson engaged in sex acts with her husband on a pornographic website. But the margin left the race too early to call.

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And in a competitive race south of Richmond uncalled by the AP, Republican incumbent Kim Taylor held a narrow lead over Democrat Kimberly Pope Adams. Taylor declared victory, but Adams said her campaign was waiting for every vote to be counted.

All 140 General Assembly seats were on the ballot in this year's hard-fought campaign cycle. Democrats' path to the majority ran through mostly suburban districts in Hampton Roads, and central and northern Virginia.

In holding their Senate majority and flipping the House of Delegates, Democrats ensured at least two more years of divided government for the duration of Youngkin's term.

Youngkin, who cannot seek a second consecutive four years in office, had invested a great deal of time, money and political capital in the races. After a day spent trekking across the state for appearances with Republican candidates, he offered no immediate comment on the outcome.

Dave Rexrode, the chairman of Youngkin's political committee, said late Tuesday night on social media that the operation would “fully assess where things stand in the morning.”

“We had hoped for a stronger outcome this evening but are proud of the effort all of our candidates put in to these extremely competitive districts,” he said.

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