Republicans now control the Virginia House 52-48, completing their sweep of Tuesday’s elections that were seen as a referendum on Biden.
RICHMOND, Virginia (LifeSiteNews) – Republicans have won back majority control of the Virginia House of Delegates, completing a sweep of Tuesday’s elections that were widely seen as a referendum on the Biden administration.
The GOP flipped a total of seven House seats, according to election results updated Friday by the Virginia Department of Elections. The gains wiped out Democrats’ majority in the lower chamber, which stood at 55-45 before Tuesday. Republicans now control the House 52-48.
Democratic House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax) conceded Friday evening, saying that she “will work to provide a smooth transition for the incoming speaker, and our Democratic caucus will work with the new majority in the House of Delegates and the governor’s administration to serve the best interests of all Virginians.”
“Virginia voters made a historic statement, delivering a clear rebuke of the failed policies of the last two years and electing Republicans up and down the ballot,” House Minority Leader Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah) said in a victory statement Wednesday. “We are grateful to Virginians who place their trust in us, and we look forward to immediately going to work with Governor-elect Youngkin and his administration to restore fiscal order, give parents the voice they deserve in education, and keep our Commonwealth safe.”
House Republicans were projected to win at least 50 seats by Wednesday, ending Democrats’ majority, though final results had not yet come in for multiple races determining whether they would take back the House. Virginia’s liberalized election laws allow ballots postmarked by Election Day to be counted until three days after an election.
Republican challengers secured up two additional seats Friday, defeating incumbent Democrats in the 91st and 85th Districts by narrow margins, with all precincts reporting. Democratic Del. Martha Mugler, who was ousted by Republican A.C. Cordoza despite outraising him $600,000 to $51,000, conceded Friday night.
Cordoza attributed his success to Joe Biden’s endorsement of Mugler and Republicans’ focus on Virginia voters’ top issues, like taxes and education.
“My opponent was endorsed by President Biden and she just started sinking from there,” Cordoza said in an interview with Newsmax. “People in my district are very upset about what’s going on in the Biden administration and they don’t want a local Biden in the chair.”
“The Republicans have been speaking about the right things. We want to get our gas tax down, our grocery tax is gone, and they’re talking about Trump, and it just didn’t work,” he said.
Joe Biden won Virginia by nearly 500,000 votes and more than 10 points in 2020, but his approvals have crashed in the state, as they have nationally. A recent Suffolk University survey found that less than half of Virginians approve of his job performance, while two-thirds think that the country is headed in the wrong direction.
House seats flipped by the GOP include at least one in heavily-Democratic Northern Virginia, where a pro-life elementary school teacher, Tara Durant, unseated incumbent Del. Joshua Cole of the 28th District. Two of the state’s few remaining rural districts held by Democrats also fell to Republicans, as did District 63, which includes the majority-black city of Petersburg. All sitting Republicans won re-election.
Democrats still hold a 21-19 majority in the State Senate, which did not hold elections this year.
Republicans’ blowout in Virginia included victories in all three statewide races. Gov.-Elect Glenn Youngkin defeated former Virginia governor and close Clinton associate Terry McAuliffe, and Republican Jason Miyares unseated Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring, who was running for a third term. Winsome Sears, the GOP nominee for lieutenant governor, beat out Democratic Del. Hala Ayala to become the first black woman elected to statewide office in Virginia’s history.
“What they saw was they saw this one-party control in Richmond that was pushing dangerous policies,” Jason Miyares, Virginia’s first Latino attorney general and the son of a Cuban exile, said Wednesday, adding that “there’s a huge frustration there with Virginians in general.”
Since taking full control of the state government in 2019 for the first time in decades, Virginia Democrats, led by pro-infanticide Gov. Ralph Northam, rammed through a series of far-left proposals, including tax-payer funded abortion, legalization of recreational marijuana, and a law requiring churches to hire transgenders and homosexuals.
“Pro-life victories in both the Virginia House of Delegates and the governor’s race are a strong repudiation of abortion extremism that effectively halts the radical pro-abortion legislative agenda in the Commonwealth,” Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a statement. “Virginia Democrats have made national news for supporting abortion on demand through the moment of birth, and even infanticide.”
Democrats’ majority in the state Senate means that they may still be able to check most conservative legislation, though a tie in the narrowly-held chamber would allow Sears to cast a deciding vote as lieutenant governor. The next Senate elections are in 2023.
Republican House control bodes well for tax reform, however, as the lower chamber has an outsized role in crafting spending bills, according to WUSA9 News. Youngkin promised in his victory speech Wednesday morning that he would eliminate the state’s grocery tax and gas tax hike.
Democrats’ disastrous showing this week extended to New Jersey, the only other state holding a governor’s race this year. Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat, has claimed victory over Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli, with around a two-point lead, though Ciattarelli has not conceded and final results may not be known for weeks. Biden won the state by 16 points last November.
Democrats’ losses in New Jersey include Senate President Steve Sweeney, who was ousted by a Republican truck driver with no political experience in another major upset. Republicans also swept judicial elections in Pennsylvania, picking up all three seats on the ballot and defending a seat on the state Supreme Court. They even made inroads in New York and Seattle, winning the Seattle city attorney’s race and multiple county elections in liberal Nassau County, New York.