Democratic incumbent delegate Alex Askew (Virginia Beach) has officially conceded his District 85 race after a recount showed that he would not overcome Republican challenger Karen Greenhalgh. A three judge panel today upheld her victory, ensuring a Republican majority in the House of Delegates, even with one more recount in the 91st district expected next week.
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — A three-judge panel overseeing a recount in a close Virginia Beach state House race upheld the Republican candidate’s victory on Friday, a decision that also reaffirms the GOP’s takeover of the chamber and completes the party’s sweep of last month’s elections.
Republicans also claimed the statewide offices of governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general in the Nov. 2 balloting. Those wins were a dramatic turnaround in a state where the GOP had not won a statewide race since 2009. Democrats still hold a 21-19 majority in the Senate — where elections won’t be held until 2023 — splitting control of Virginia’s state legislature.
The certified results from the election showed Republicans leading in 52 districts and the Democrats leading in 48. The recount in the 85th District race resulted in Democratic incumbent Alex Askew gaining 12 votes, but he still trailed Republican challenger Karen Greenhalgh by 115 votes. There was one contested ballot. The panel found that the intent of the voter was unclear, so that ballot was not counted for either candidate.
After Democrats requested recounts in two races with razor-thin margins, that left open the remote possibility of a 50-50 split. Though the second recount, in the 91st District, is still expected to proceed next week, Democrats no longer have a shot at undoing the GOP’s majority. Askew is an incumbent freshmen first elected in 2019, when Democrats flipped both the House and Senate. After the recount results were announced, Askew thanked his supporters, campaign staff and volunteers.