Democrats Sweep Statewide Races, as WMRA Area Republicans Beat Back Challengers

Nov 7, 2017

Virginia Democrats will hold on to the governor's mansion, as well as the offices of lieutenant governor and attorney general, sweeping statewide races in yesterday's elections.  With all precincts reporting, Democrat Ralph Northam defeated Republican Ed Gillespie by a nearly 9-point margin, 54% to 45%.

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The Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor Justin Fairfax defeated his Republican opponent, 53% to 47%, and Democrat Mark Herring will remain attorney general, beating Republican challenger John Adams, also by a 53% to 47% margin.

Democrats nearly erased Republicans' overwhelming majority in the Virginia House of Delegates, with a handful of races still too close to call that will decide control of the body.  Unofficial returns showed Democrats unseating at least 11 Republicans and flipping three seats that had been occupied by GOP incumbents who didn’t seek reelection, for a total of 14 seat gains in the House.  Democrats need to flip at least 17 seats to regain control of the House for the first time in two decades.  All 100 House seats were up for grabs.

Democratic challengers did not fare so well in the WMRA region, a mostly rural area that went heavily for Trump in last year's presidential race.  All Democratic challengers in House races here failed in their bids to unseat the incumbents.  Statewide, sixty of the seats were contested by candidates of both major parties, more than in any year for at least two decades.

House of Delegates Races in the WMRA Region
20th Dist. - Incumbent Dickie Bell (R) wins with 54% of the vote.
24th Dist. - Incumbent Ben Cline (R) wins with nearly 72% of the vote.
25th Dist. - Incumbent Steve Landes (R) wins with  nearly 58% of the vote.
26th Dist. - Incumbent Tony Wilt (R) wins with nearly 55% of the vote.
58th Dist. - Incumbent Rob Bell (R) wins with 61% of the vote.