Virginia GOP Incumbents Win Every State House Election, Flip At Least 5 Seats from Dems

Every Republican House incumbent in Virginia who ran for re-election prevailed Tuesday, while the party was also able to flip at least five seats held by Democrats, the Associated Press reported.

The GOP won at least 50 seats in the Virginia House overall, securing a tie with Democrats that could potentially turn into a majority as more races are called.

Virginia Republicans saw widespread success, topped off by Republican businessman Glenn Youngkin's victory in the gubernatorial race and Winsome Sears becoming the lieutenant governor. They beat out former Governor Terry McAuliffe and Hala Ayala.

Eight of the Republican incumbents who won re-election were uncontested, while two of the seats flipped were the last of the predominantly rural districts held by Democrats. In some of the races that have yet to be formally called, the GOP has already declared victory while party leaders voiced confidence that they had gained control of the House.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Virginia House Election Results
Every Republican House incumbent in Virginia who ran for re-election prevailed in their races, while the party was also able to flip five seats held by Democrats. Above, Virginia House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn talks with House Minority Leader Delegate Todd Gilbert during the House session at the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond on January 9, 2020. Steve Helber/AP Photo

One down-ballot statewide race is still too close to call. Incumbent Attorney General Democrat Mark Herring is seeking a third term against Republican Jason Miyares, a delegate from Virginia Beach.

Tuesday's election was seen as a referendum on a series of progressive reforms that Democrats have enacted over the past two years, including the repeal of the death penalty, the legalization of marijuana, a loosening of abortion restrictions. and a series of police reforms.

Republicans criticized a series of progressive policies promoted by Democrats to try to convince voters that once-conservative Virginia has moved too far to the left, including the repeal of the death penalty, the legalization of marijuana, a loosening of abortion restrictions and a series of police reforms.

Democrats held a 55-45 majority heading into Tuesday's election, but Republicans waged an aggressive campaign to flip up to 13 seats held by Democrats whom they considered vulnerable. The GOP needs to flip at least six seats to regain the majority the party lost in 2019. Democrats still hold a slim 21-19 majority over Republicans in the Senate. Senators are not up for re-election until 2023.

Garren Shipley, a spokesman for House Republican Leader Todd Gilbert, said Republicans believe they have flipped several seats in races where vote tallies show the two candidates extremely close, including in District 85 in Virginia Beach, where Democratic Delegate Alex Askew was ahead of Republican challenger Karen Greenhalgh by less than 100 votes.

Gilbert said in a statement Wednesday that Republicans believe Greenhalgh has won the race by more than 200 votes.

"We are very confident that there will be 52 Republicans seated when the House convenes in January," Shipley said.

House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn acknowledged that the results were not what Democrats were hoping for but said there are still several tight races "that will determine the majority" as votes continue to be counted. The state Department of Elections has said that ballots postmarked by November 2 will be counted through noon on Friday.

"We are going to make sure every Virginian's voice is heard and every vote is counted," Filler-Corn said in a statement.

Democratic incumbent Roslyn Tyler was defeated by Republican challenger Otto Wachsmann in the 75th District, while two-term Democratic incumbent Chris Hurst lost to Republican challenger Jason Ballard in the 12th District.

In other tight races, first-term Democratic Delegate Joshua Cole was defeated by Republican challenger Tara Durant in the 28th District, which includes the city of Fredericksburg and parts of Stafford County. In District 83, which includes parts of the cities of Virginia Beach and Norfolk, Republican challenger Tim Anderson, an attorney and gun shop owner, ousted Democratic incumbent Nancy Guy.

Republicans had controlled the House since 2000, but Democrats won back 15 GOP-held seats in 2017, helped by voter hostility toward then-President Donald Trump. In 2019, Democrats took full control of the legislature by wiping out slim Republican majorities in the House and Senate.

Virginia Voters
Virginia Republicans saw widespread success in the election Tuesday, topped off by Republican businessman Glenn Youngkin’s victory in the gubernatorial race. Above, voters cast ballots at the Fairfax County Government Center on November 2, 2021, in Fairfax, Virginia. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images