Democrats in Virginia are taking total control of the statehouse for the first time in more than two decades.
The Party won majorities in both the state House and Senate in Tuesday’s legislative election. This is the third election now that Virginia Democrats have made significant gains since President Donald Trump was elected in 2016.
The outcome of the vote will give Democrats control of the legislature and governorship for the first time in 26 years. Democrats have promised to pass new gun restrictions and raise the minimum wage once in power.
Virginia is the only state this year where partisan control was up for grabs.
Frustration with Trump and worry around the impeachment process has powered Democratic gains in Virginia in recent elections.
The president has primarily stayed out of Virginia, where Democrats found success in suburban swing districts in last year’s congressional elections.
Prior to this year’s election, Republicans had a slim majority in both the state House and Senate.
The Virginia election drew heavy attention and money from both parties. Former Vice President Joe Biden, a Democratic presidential front-runner, visited Virginia over the weekend to campaign with several statehouse candidates, and Republican Vice President Mike Pence held a rally on Saturday.
Democratic presidential contenders, including U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar and Cory Booker, have also campaigned with local candidates.
Virginia’s Democratic success came despite scandal for Governor Ralph Northam. He barely endured a political attack after his yearbook page was shown to have photos of someone in blackface and another person in a Ku Klux Klan costume. The Attorney General Mark Herring admitted to wearing blackface himself in college.
The legislative wins mean that Democrats can pass a number of bills that Republicans had resisted, including new gun limits. Democrats will also control the redistricting process in 2021. Lawmakers will draw new voting lines for state and congressional elections after next year’s U.S. Census.
Donald Trump was clearly a focus for some Virginia voters casting ballots to decide which party controls the statehouse.
It wasn’t a clean sweep for the Democrats; Republican Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates Kirk Cox fended off a challenge from vocal gun control advocate Sheila Bynum-Coleman. Cox, a retired schoolteacher, has served his district south of Richmond since 1990.
Written by Rich Stevenson
Credit: Daily Mail