RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – Democrats swept Virginia’s state legislative elections, according to The Associated Press, securing total control of the General Assembly for at least the last two years of Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s time in office.
The party won enough races to keep the Virginia Senate and flip the House of Delegates, denying Gov. Youngkin and Republicans’ own dreams of seizing total control of the legislature — which would have given the GOP a trifecta in the state government.
The Associated Press called this year’s races for both chambers, held under the state’s newly-drawn legislative districts, a little after midnight.
“We’ve been telling you all since day one that Democrats had the message, the candidates, and the momentum to put a stop to the extreme Republicans’ agenda,” House Minority Leader Don Scott (D-Portsmouth), who is expected to become the first Black Virginia House speaker in the chamber’s 404-year history, said during a victory speech in Richmond.
Control of the General Assembly will allow Democrats to block major parts of Youngkin’s conservative agenda, including tax cuts and a proposal for a ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy that he pushed for and candidates got behind.
It can also give the party a path to bring forward constitutional amendments for voters to weigh in on, including ballot questions on enshrining abortion rights and ending the permanent disenfranchisement of those with felony convictions. (A proposed constitutional amendment could make it to voters as a statewide ballot referendum if it passes two years in a row — with House of Delegates elections in between.)
But while Democrats will be able to dictate the legislative agenda next year, their slim majorities in the chambers will make it unlikely for them to override a veto from Youngkin.
“We are still monitoring a couple key races and will fully assess where things stand in the morning,” Dave Rexrode, Youngkin’s special advisor and chairman of the governor’s PAC, said in a post on X. “We had hoped for a stronger outcome this evening but are proud of the effort all of our candidates put in to these extremely competitive districts.”
With the next Virginia House elections coming in 2025 and the next state Senate elections being held in 2027, the chambers’ margins will be set for at least the next two years once they are certified.
8News relies on The Associated Press for calls on state legislative races and local ballot questions. All election results are unofficial until certified by the state Board of Elections.