Republicans Just Won Control of the Virginia House—in a Random Drawing

The GOP finally found a way to win elections in the Trump era.

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Republicans will hold on to their majority in Virginia’s House of Delegates by the narrowest of margins, 51-49—all because their candidate’s name was drawn from a bowl. The outcome of the Hampton Roads-area 94th district race had seesawed back and forth since Election Day. Incumbent Republican Del. David Yancey was the winner of the first round of vote-counting, prevailing by just 10 votes. But after a recount, Democrat Shelly Simonds pulled ahead by one vote. Then a court ruled that a ballot that had been invalidated because the voter marked both Simonds’ and Yancey’s names should in fact be counted for Yancey, and the race was declared a tie. On Thursday, the state board of elections met in Richmond to settle the matter by drawing lots out of a clay bowl. Yancey won.

The Republican victory, such as it was, will have major ramifications in the Old Dominion, where rejuvenated Democrats held onto the governorship in a landslide and captured 15 House seats that Republicans had controlled in the last session. Democrats had hoped that a Simonds victory, which would have meant an evenly split House, would enable them to pass legislation expanding Medicaid in the state—a policy goal that Republican lawmakers have thus far blocked.

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

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