Finally Tally in Pivotal Race in Virginia: 11,608 to 11,607

Lawmaker wins recount by one vote, ending GOP control of House of Delegates
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2017 6:20 PM CST
Updated Dec 20, 2017 2:35 AM CST
A Solitary Virginia Voter Has Upended Virginia Politics
Democrat Shelly Simonds reacts to the news that she won the 94th District precinct by one vote.   (Joe Fudge/The Daily Press via AP)

Cue up the old standard about "every vote counts." In Virginia, a recount has just flipped a seat in the House of Delegates to the Democrats, bringing to an end GOP control of that chamber after 17 years. But incredibly, the margin of victory for Shelly Simonds was just one vote, reports the Virginian-Pilot. Simonds ousted GOP incumbent David Yancey by a count of 11,608 to 11,607. Yancey actually led after Election Day by the razor-thin margin of 11,601 to 11,591, but Tuesday's daylong recount in Newport News changed that. The final results are expected to be certified by the state Supreme Court on Wednesday.

“I knew it was going to be a roller coaster ride and the counts were going to change and votes were going to shift around, but I had faith in the system and final outcome,” says Simonds. Republicans have controlled the House of Delegates since 2000, and Simonds' victory means the parties will now be split at 50-50. The Washington Post notes that no tie-breaking procedure is in place, meaning that any measure that doesn't get 51 votes does not advance. The GOP still controls the state Senate, but by a slim 21-19 edge. Politico reports that the surprise development may help state Democrats pass Medicaid expansion in 2018. (Virginia also will have a new Democratic governor.)

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