GOP Comes Out Ahead In Toss-Up Virginia Election

Jack Crowe
Political Reporter

Republican incumbent David Yancey was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates Thursday after his name was drawn from a bowl in an odd tie breaking measure mandated by an arcane state law.

The drawing broke the 11,608-to-11,608 tie between Yancey and Democrat Shelly Simonds, who is entitled by law to request a second recount. The odd electoral quirk is the product of a 1705 law that mandates an electoral tie be settled by a random lottery drawing.

Yancey’s election, should it stand, would give Virginia Republicans a 51 – 49 majority in the state House, enabling them to confront Virginia Governor-elect Ralph Northam’s progressive agenda.

The drawing is the second attempt by Virginia election officials to settle the race after Yancey appeared to beat Simonds by 10 votes in the 94th district. That initial vote was overturned as a recount produced an additional ten ballots for Yancey, one of which was illegible but counted for Yancey by the court. The first scheduled drawing was canceled after Simonds asked the court to discard that ballot, arguing the voter’s intentions were unclear. Simonds’ motion was rejected Wednesday.

Yancey is not expected to be seated when the legislature reconvenes on Jan. 10 should Simonds request a recount.
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