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.

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Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

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