Virginia Republicans retook the House of Delegates by protecting their incumbents and flipping seven seats, giving them a 52-48 majority, according to unofficial election results. Those flips included some predictable results. Otto Wachsmann defeated Delegate Roslyn Tyler (D-Sussex). Republicans won in four out of five competitive Virginia Beach races. Mike Cherry protected Republican control of outgoing Delegate Kirk Cox’s (R-Colonial Heights) district.
Republicans also pulled off some surprises. A.C. Cordoza has apparently defeated Delegate Martha Mugler (D-Hampton) 49.68 percent to 48.70 percent — a nail biting result since mail-in ballots can still come in.
Republicans have a good chance to retake the majority in Virginia’s House of Delegates, powered by historically-Republican voters in swing districts who were alienated by former President Donald Trump. To win the majority, Republicans need to protect what they have and take six seats. They see opportunities in Northern Virginia, metro Richmond, Virginia Beach, and downstate Virginia.
“We feel that with the environment that’s going on right now, we’ve got great opportunities to pick up five to nine seats to take over,” Delegate Terry Kilgore (R-Wise) told The Virginia Star. “That’s one thing you don’t have any control of, but the environment, you know, of Biden and just the overreach by a lot of the Democrats’ bills last year has really focused the independents back our way.”
Governor Ralph Northam announced Thursday that all state employees will be required to show proof that they are fully vaccinated or take COVID-19 tests every week. Local governments and private employers are considering similar moves
“Governor Northam’s action comes as the highly transmissible Delta variant is driving up cases across the Commonwealth and around the country, primarily among unvaccinated people,” Northam’s press release explains.
While national eyes are focused on the Virginia gubernatorial races, many Virginia political watchers are looking towards the Virginia House of Delegates’ races. There are many competitive races across the Commonwealth, from the crystal waters of Mountain Lake in Giles County, to the muddy waters of the James River in Richmond, to the hot I-66 pavement of Fairfax and Loudoun County, only one thing is for sure.