UPDATE: The House of Delegates is officially in Republican control for the coming session. Delegates today elected Kirk Cox as House Speaker. Republicans were assured a majority after a federal appeals court today turned down a request from Democrats to order a new election in a Fredericksburg-area district. That and the luck of the draw in a tied Newport News-area race give the G-O-P a 51 to 49 edge.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ A federal appeals court says it won’t step in to halt the swearing-in of a Republican delegate whose disputed election keeps the chamber in the GOP’s control. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond on Wednesday denied an appeal by Democratic voters seeking an injunction and a new election in the 28th District. Republican Bob Thomas defeated Democrat Joshua Cole by 73 votes, but Democrats say the election is tainted because 147 voters received the wrong ballots. The Democratic voters sought an injunction that would keep Thomas from being sworn in when the new legislature convenes later Wednesday. The 4th Circuit ruling clears the way for Thomas to be sworn in. Republicans will have a 51-49 advantage in the chamber.