GOP flips enough seats to tie Va. House of Delegates; some races remain too close to call

After a sweep of all three statewide races in Virginia, Republicans have also won at least 50 seats in the House of Delegates — enough to tie Democrats for control of the chamber, The Associated Press projects.

GOP candidates were also leading in one other race that remained too close to call, but that could flip the control of the House entirely into Republican hands.

Democrats went into Election Day with a 55-45 majority.

The only Democratic seat to flip in the Democratic stronghold of Northern Virginia was in the 28th District, which includes parts of Stafford County and Fredericksburg City. Republican challenger Tara Durant, an elementary school teacher, has defeated incumbent Democratic Del. Joshua Cole, the AP projected.

With 25 of 27 precincts reporting, according to the Virginia Department of Elections, Durant led Cole by just shy of 700 votes — 51% to 49%.

Republicans picked up at least four other seats in other parts of the state, the AP reported Wednesday.

In the 75th District, in Southampton, Republican Otto Wachsman defeated Del. Roslyn Tyler; in the 12th District, Republican Jason Ballard topped Democratic Del. Chris Hurst Tyler — two largely rural districts represented by Democrats.

In the 83rd District in Virginia Beach and Norfolk, Republican Timothy Anderson defeated Democratic incumbent Nancy Guy, and in the 63rd District Republican Kim Taylor unseated Democrat Lashrecse Aird.

Two other races where Republicans are leading Democratic incumbents — the 85th District in Virginia Beach and the 91st District in Hampton City — have not yet been called. Either one would give Republicans a one-seat majority; winning both would make their majority 52-48.

In Northern Virginia, the 10th District, which includes Loudoun, Frederick and Clarke counties, was also one of the most closely watched potential “swing districts” that could determine whether Republicans retake the House.

However, unofficial results appeared to show Democratic two-term incumbent Wendy Gooditis holding onto her seat against Republican challenger Nick Clemente.

With 34 of 37 precincts reporting, Gooditis led Clemente by about 600 votes, appearing to fend off Clemente just barely — 50.7% to 49.2%.

The AP has not called the race yet, but Gooditis declared victory on social media.

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All 100 House seats were on the ballot, and the election was largely seen as a barometer of the mood of the electorate early in President Joe Biden’s term, as well as a referendum on the sweeping progressive reforms Democrats pushed through the General Assembly in the two years since they took control of the House, including legalizing marijuana, tightening gun safety laws and repealing the death penalty.

Elsewhere in Northern Virginia — home to some 30 House Districts — Democrats maintained all their seats.

The winners, however, did include a handful of Democratic newcomers.

In the 50th District, Democrat Michelle Maldonado, who knocked off Lee Carter in the June primary, fended off a challenge from Republican Steve Pleickhardt.

In the 51st District, Democrat Briana Sewell won election over GOP candidate Tim Cox. The incumbent is Democratic Del. Hala Ayala, who made plans to vacate the seat to launch an unsuccessful bid for lieutenant governor.

In the 45th District, Democratic candidate Elizabeth Bennett-Parker, Alexandria’s vice mayor, who unseated Democratic incumbent Del. Mark Levine in the June primary, defeated Republican candidate J.D. Maddox.

In the 86th District, Democrat Irene Shin, who defeated fellow Democrat Ibraheem Samirah in the June primary, won the seat over her GOP challenger, Julie Perry.

Democrats still hold a slim 21-19 majority over Republicans in the Senate. Senators are not up for reelection until 2023

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Jack Moore

Jack Moore joined as a digital writer/editor in July 2016. Previous to his current role, he covered federal government management and technology as the news editor at, part of Government Executive Media Group.

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