FILE - In this Tuesday Dec. 19, 2017, file photo, Democrat Shelly Simonds as she reacts to the news that she won the 94th District precincts by one vote after previously trailing incumbent David Yancey by ten votes post-election, following a recount in Hampton, Va. A three judge panel on Wednesday, Jan., 3, 2018, has rejected a request to reconsider its ruling in an election recount between Republican incumbent state Del. David Yancey and Simonds, that could determine partisan control of the Virginia House of Delegates. State elections officials plan to meet Thursday, Jan. 4, to randomly pick a winner in the contest. (Joe Fudge/The Daily Press via AP, File)

The Latest: Virginia GOP says draw cemented House majority

January 04, 2018 - 1:13 pm

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Latest on a Virginia legislative election in which the winner's name is drawn out of a bowl (all times local):

1:10 p.m.

The leader of Virginia House Republicans says the victory by a GOP legislative candidate who won after his name was drawn from a bowl has cemented Republican control of the lower chamber.

GOP House Leader Kirk Cox said Thursday that Republicans feel "very strongly" that they will be in the majority when the legislative session starts next week. A majority would allow Republicans to elect Cox speaker and make committee assignments.

Cox's comments came shortly after Del. David Yancey was named the winner of the 94th District by the Virginia State Board of Elections after the tied election was settled by drawing names.

Republicans currently control the House 51-49. But Democrats could ask for a recount in the 94th District and a federal court hearing is set for Friday in another close contested House seat.


12:20 p.m.

The Democrat who lost a drawing of lots for a Virginia legislative seat says it's a sad conclusion for her but she is still considering her options.

Shelley Simonds lost the race for the 94th District when an elections official pulled out incumbent Republican David Yancey's name first. The two were tied after the November election.

The drawing Thursday drew quite a crowd to the Virginia elections board meeting. Most of the people packed into the room were Simonds' supporters. Yancey did not attend.

As Yancey's name was announced, Simonds sat stoically, holding the hands of her daughter and husband seated beside her. She endured a long moment of silence as the elections officials certified Yancey as the winner. The only sound in the room was the clicking of cameras, most of which were trained on Simonds.

Her supporters left the room disappointed and she addressed the media.


11:10 a.m.

A Republican has won a Virginia state House of Delegates race so close that its outcome was determined by pulling the candidate's name out of a bowl.

Del. David Yancey was named the winner of the 94th District on Thursday by the Virginia State Board of Elections.

The race between the three-term incumbent and Democratic challenger Shelly Simonds has bounced back and forth since the November election. Yancey appeared to have won by 10 votes, but on Dec. 19 Simonds won a recount by a single vote. The next day, a three-judge panel declared a tie based on a previously uncounted vote for Yancey.

The win by Yancey leaves Republicans clinging to a slim 51-49 majority over Democrats in the House. A lawsuit is pending over the results of another House race in northern Virginia and Simonds could ask for another recount.


4:50 a.m.

A Virginia legislative election that could determine which party controls the House is set to be decided by chance. That's after an election, a recount and a legal battle all failed to determine a winner.

Virginia elections officials will conduct a blind drawing Thursday morning to determine the winner of the 94th House District contest. The candidates are incumbent Republican David Yancey and Democrat Shelly Simonds.

The drawing will be the latest dramatic twist in a November election that saw Democrats wipe out a 66-34 advantage held by Republicans in the House. But an ultimate resolution could still be far away. The loser could push for a second recount or ask the House to step in and pick a winner.

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