HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — The balance of power in the Virginia House of Delegates hinges on two Hampton Roads races that appear to be headed toward a recount.
As of Monday night, unofficial results in both the 85th and 91st House districts fell under the .5% difference that allows for a state-funded recount if requested.
Republican challengers hold the lead over Democrat incumbents in both cases. U.S. Air Force veteran A.C. Cordoza (R-Hampton) leads Del. Martha Mugler (D-Hampton) by 94 votes in the 91st District. Businesswoman Karen Greenhalgh (R-Virginia Beach) leads Del. Alex Askew (D-Virginia Beach) by 127 votes.
The election of either Cordoza or Greenhalgh would give Republicans the majority in General Assembly’s lower chamber.
Current Speaker of the House Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Springfield) conceded the Republicans did indeed achieve that majority in a statement Friday night following the concession of Mugler. However, that is before an error slimmed Cordoza’s lead.
On Saturday, Mulger said: “In light of this news and the significant shift we have seen in the count since Tuesday night, we think it wise to do our due diligence to make sure every vote is fairly and accurately counted. We will allow the process the full time and effort it takes to ensure accuracy.”
Mugler’s campaign declined to comment whether they would ask for a recount when asked by 10 On Your Side on Monday afternoon.
In a Facebook post on Sunday, Filler-Corn thanked each Democratic incumbent who lost their re-election bid for their work. Mugler and Askew were not a part of the post.
Hampton General Registrar Tara Morgan said the “error” came down to a wrong number being read from a precinct on election night. The post-election day canvas caught the mistake and it was corrected.
Cordoza, whose only prior political race was an unsuccessful run for Hampton City Council last year, said he is not concerned about a recount.
“94, that’s pretty insurmountable. It’s no canvassing anymore, there’s no incoming ballots, what’s there is there and we are just recounting them,” Cordoza said.
Cordoza will be the only Black Republican in the House if he is sworn in. Originally a Democrat who campaigned for former President Barack Obama, Cordoza said a professor at Thomas Nelson Community College helped him realize his views align more with the Republican agenda.
He said he is far from “far-right” but decided to run when Democrat-led gun-control initiatives were being passed in 2020.
“I kind of have to be the voice of an entire people for the Republican party,” Cordoza said. “It’s a job that is going to be very difficult but it’s something I am ready for because that’s what I signed up for.”
Recounts cannot be officially requested until after the Virginia State Board of Elections certifies results on Nov. 15.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the recount would be triggered automatically. WAVY-TV regrets the error.