Wexton wins special election for Herring’s Senate seat

WASHINGTON – Democrats appear to have won control of Virginia’s Senate.

Democrat Jennifer Wexton won nearly 53 percent of the vote in the special election for the 33rd Senate District. Republican John Whitbeck won 37 percent and Independent Joe May won 10 percent Tuesday night, according to unofficial results from the State Board of Elections.

Wexton will fill the seat held by Mark Herring, who was sworn in as attorney general on Jan. 11 as part of the first Democratic sweep of statewide offices in decades.

Now, the focus turns to the special election held Jan. 7 to replace new Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam. If the recount in that race upholds Democrat Lynwood Lewis’s victory, the Senate would be split 20-20. But Northam’s tie-breaking vote would give Democrats control of the Senate.

Republicans still control the House of Delegates by a wide margin. And Gov. Terry McAuliffe will need at least some GOP support to push his priorities through the legislature.

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