Just in time for Christmas, the “Blue Wave” of electoral victories delivers another gift to Virginia Democrats as a recount ends with a single-vote victory by Shelly Simonds, Democratic House of Delegates candidate Newport News. More important for the party, this ends an 18-year GOP-majority in the House, and sets the stage for Governor-Elect Ralph Northam to push the progressive platform that many of the new candidates ran on.
Simonds beat Republican incumbent David Yancey, who had won by 12 votes on election day, opening the door for a recount of all ballots. Yancey has represented the 94th District since 2011. He last contested the seat with Simonds in 2015 in an election he won by 15 points, but the district has primarily voted Democrat at the state and national level since 2009, when Republican Bob McDonnell won in a landslide.
— VA House Democrats (@VAHouseDems) December 19, 2017
Virginia Democrats were optimistic, declaring victory on Twitter shortly before reporters watching the recount were able to confirm the total. The result will be certified by a three-judge panel on Wednesday. Although Republicans could still contest the decision, no ballots were contested during the process, and Kirk Cox, a Republican leader who was previously set to become House Speaker for 2018, has already issued a statement congratulating Simonds.
This victory will likely drive the Democratic party farther left in Virginia, satisfying progressive critics who were unhappy with Northam’s defeat of Tom Perriello in the primary.