A single vote appears to have flipped a state House race in Virginia, and in doing so, tied the entire House of Delegate's party makeup. A recount Tuesday of a contested state delegate race in Newport News gave Democrat Shelly Simonds a one-vote edge over incumbent Republican David Yancey, pending final certification from a three-person panel on Wednesday. The recount yielded 11,608 votes for Simonds, and 11,607 votes for Yancey.
But that single vote bears even greater implications for the state as a whole. Simonds' victory in House District 94 would tie the Democrat and Republican composition of the House of Delegates — 50 to 50, breaking Republicans' long hold on control. Should that composition hold, the parties will be all but forced to work with each other more in the future to pass legislation. There is no tie-breaking mechanism in the Virginia House of Delegates, unlike the upper chamber in which the lieutenant governor can break ties.
Two more recounts are still scheduled for later this week.
Going into the November elections, Republicans enjoyed an almost 2-1 majority in the House of Delegates, with a 66-34 edge over Democrats. Republicans have controlled the state House since 2000.
Virginia's House races in November yielded overwhelming victories for Democrats. In Prince William County, a transgender woman who campaigned heavily on local issues like infrastructure beat out the socially conservative incumbent Republican Bob Marshall, who has been vocal about his criticisms of LGBT agendas.