November 10, 2011
Tuesday's election resulted in the Democratic Party holding 20 seats in the State Senate, the Republican Party holding 19, and one race that is too close to call but will likely go to the Republicans. This will result in a 20 to 20 tie in the Senate, with Republican Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling in the position to cast tie breaking votes.
Progressive Point: On Tuesday, you voted. On Wednesday, Bill Bolling and Bob McDonnell decided it didn't matter. In a blatant power grab, the far right of Virginia, under McDonnell and Bolling's leadership, is attempting to seize control of the State Senate despite voters choosing to split power evenly between the parties.
McDonnell, Bolling and the radical right are trying to grab control while they only have 19 seats in the State Senate, with their own possible 20th State Senator refusing to declare victory. These brazenly partisan attempts, the first day after the election, signal a scary future for our Commonwealth if the Tea Party is allowed to take total control. Virginia needs leaders who will work together to secure a better future for our families, not supercede election results to push their own agenda.
Get the Facts:
"Virginia Republicans, who appear to have eked out a partisan 20-20 split in the 40-seat Senate in Tuesday's election, said Wednesday they will not share power with Democrats, who have held a two-seat majority the past four years... That's contingent, however, on Republican newcomer Bryce Reeves' narrow lead over 7-term Democratic Sen. R. Edward Houck surviving Wednesday's vote canvass in six localities that are part of the 17th Senate District, then a possible recount." (Washington Post)
"Republicans declared victory in the race between challenger Bryce Reeves and longtime Sen. Edd Houck, D-Spotsylvania, despite a mere 86 votes separating the two candidates and more ballots left to count -- not to mention the likelihood of a recount. But don't include Reeves among those already assuming victory. Campaign manager Chris Leavitt said they're going to wait before they anoint themselves the winner." (Washington Examiner)
"In one of their first moves since Tuesday's election, Republicans said Wednesday they would wait until January when they are in power in both the House and Senate to redraw the state's 11 congressional districts... The decision virtually ensures the state would keep its 8-3 split of Republican vs. Democratic congressmen... The Democratic-led Senate passed a competing map which would create a new district in which black voters are a sizeable minority, in addition to another district in which they hold a majority. The House plan, like Virginia's current map, includes one minority-minority district." (Washington Post)