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Mace & Crown | April 22, 2018

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No change in Richmond after election

No change in Richmond after election
David Thornton
Copy Editor

The Republican Party maintained control of both houses of the Virginia General Assembly after the Nov. 3 election, according to results from the Virginia Public Access Project. The Virginia Department of Elections shows 79 out of 140 total General Assembly seats were uncontested: 17 in the Senate and 62 in the House. Of the 61 races where voters actually had a choice, only 49 featured Democrats running against Republicans. Independent challengers all lost by wide margins, rarely picking up more than 20 percent of the vote in their districts.

The Washington Post reported, based on preliminary data from the Virginia Department of Elections, that voter turnout in Virginia was 26.5 percent, the lowest since 1976, when they started recording the statistics. The Virginia Department of Elections has not yet released the official number on their website. In Norfolk, both Daun Hester (D) and Steve Heretick (D), the two House Representatives that claim parts of Old Dominion University in their districts, ran unopposed. Lynwood Lewis (D), the state senator who represents ODU as well as territory in multiple different cities and counties, retained his seat, beating challenger Richard Ottinger (R) with 59 percent of the vote.

It appears Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) will be unlikely to pass any of the items on his legislative agenda, such as Medicaid expansion or stricter gun-control laws. McAuliffe campaigned extensively for Democrats in recent weeks, hoping to leverage a Democratically controlled Senate into bipartisan cooperation in the house.