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.

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

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.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate