Mark Peake wins 22nd District special election
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- A Republican Lynchburg attorney has defeated two challengers in a special election for a central Virginia Senate seat, ensuring that the Legislature's upper chamber remains in GOP control.
Results in Tuesday's 22nd Senate District race were still being tallied late Tuesday, but Democrat Ryant Washington's campaign manager said Washington has conceded to Republican Mark Peake.
Unofficial results from the state Department of Elections with more than 90 percent of precincts reporting showed Peake with a commanding lead. He had around 54 percent, Washington around 38 percent and independent Joe Hines had around 8 percent. An elections official said results were delayed because too few ballots were printed in Lynchburg, and the back-up ballots had to be hand-counted.
Had Washington won, it would have created a 20-20 split in the Senate and effectively handed control to Democrats because of the lieutenant governor's tiebreaker status.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- The Latest on a special election in Virginia (all times local):
A Republican Lynchburg attorney has a commanding lead in a central Virginia Senate race, though complete results are being delayed by an issue that resulted in the hand-counting of some ballots.
According to unofficial results from the Virginia Department of Elections, Republican Mark Peake has around 55 percent of the vote in the 22nd Senate District with around 86 percent of precincts reporting. Democrat Ryant Washington had around 37 percent and independent Joe Hines around 8 percent.
All outstanding precincts are in the city of Lynchburg, where the state's top elections official says enough ballots weren't printed. Department of Elections Commissioner Edgardo Cortes says officials had to use emergency ballots, which must be counted by hand.
The Democratic Party of Virginia issued a statement commending Washington for a hard-fought race, though Washington's campaign manager said he had not conceded.
The outcome of the race will determine which party controls the Senate.
A Republican sheriff's office captain has defeated a Democratic school teacher in the race for a Virginia Beach-area House of Delegates seat.
Unofficial results from the state Department of Elections show N.D. "Rocky" Holcomb III beat Cheryl Turpin by about six percentage points Tuesday in the 85th District.
The special election was held to replace Republican Scott Taylor, who was elected to Congress. Republicans already controlled a solid majority in the House of Delegates.
The General Assembly convenes Wednesday.
Democratic State Del. Jennifer McClellan has won a seat in the state Senate.
Unofficial results from the state Department of Elections show McClellan beat Libertarian Corey Fauconier in Tuesday's special election. Republicans did not field a candidate for the heavily Democratic-leaning 9th Senate District that includes Charles City County and parts of Henrico County, Hanover County and Richmond.
McClellan is a corporate attorney who lives in Richmond. She was elected to the House of Delegates in 2005.
The special election was held to replace Democrat Donald McEachin, who was elected to Congress in November.
The state's top elections official says not enough ballots were printed in Lynchburg for the 22nd District state Senate race.
Edgardo Cortes, commissioner of the Virginia Department of Elections, says his department became aware of the issue early Tuesday and has been working with local officials on distributing emergency ballots, which are printed on plain paper and will have to be hand-counted.
Cortes says officials are still trying to determine whether anyone was unable to vote because of the problem.
He says the issue will likely delay the reporting of results from Lynchburg.
Cortes says no other locality has reported any issues.
Voters are picking two new state senators and one member of the House of Delegates to replace the three state lawmakers who were elected to Congress in November.
Some Lynchburg-area residents who tried to vote in the 22nd Senate District special election have reported polling places running out of ballots and requesting the delivery of extras.
The News & Advance reported Tuesday that at least two precincts had run out of ballots. Voters at one precinct stood in line waiting for a delivery for more to arrive, and some people told the paper voters had left without voting because of the delay.
One precinct's election chief told the newspaper more people than anticipated had shown up to vote.
Neither Lynchburg registrar Karen Patterson nor a spokeswoman for the state Board of Elections could immediately be reached for comment by The Associated Press.
The election is being held to replace Republican Tom Garrett, who was elected to Congress in November. Republican Mark Peake, Democrat Ryant Washington and independent Joe Hines are competing for the seat.
Virginia voters are picking two state senators in a special election that could effectively hand control of that chamber from Republicans to Democrats.
Tuesday's elections in the 9th and 22nd Senate districts are being held to replace a Republican and Democrat who were elected to Congress.
If Democrats win both, they would effectively gain Senate control because of Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam's status as a tiebreaker.
In the more closely watched race, a Republican, Democrat and conservative independent are competing for the Republican-leaning 22nd District.
Democrats are expected to easily win the heavily blue 9th District, in which Republicans didn't field a candidate.
A Virginia Beach House seat is also up for grabs, though the outcome won't affect Republicans' solid majority in that chamber.