In November, insurgent Democrats came close to winning control. Before the election, Republicans held 66 of 100 seats in the House of Delegates. The GOP thought the lower house was gerrymandered to give them permanent control.

But they miscalculated.

In the Big Blue Wave That swept over Virginia, Democrats captured a large number of “safe” seats. Two contests are still being challenged. In one, the Democratic challenger and Republican incumbent were almost tied. The votes were counted, then recounted. After the recount, the Democrat, former teacher Shelley Simonds, won by one vote. Both parties agreed. The the loser David Yancey objected, filed an appeal, and the appeals court declared one vote invalid, making the election a tie, to be decided by a coin toss.

This just in:

“With the hustle of the holidays, I wanted to be sure that you hadn’t missed the big news of the last week. After a recount on Dec. 19, Delegate-elect Shelly Simonds of Newport News (D) was declared the winner in House District 94 by one vote. Both Republican and Democratic recount officials signed off on the result, and House Republicans conceded the race (and the majority).

“However, the next day Delegate David Yancey (R) broke recount rules in a desperate effort to steal with the election, re-litigating a ballot in court that both the Democratic and Republican observers had already agreed on. If this ruling is allowed to stand, the integrity of the recount process will be broken in Virginia for all future elections. Read our press release here for more background on what happened.

“It’s important we get out the word about what happened. Can you help us by using the hashtag #StandWithShelly on social media?

#StandWithShelly on Twitter:

#StandWithShelly on Facebook:

#StandWithShelly by helping us pay her legal bills:

“In addition to fighting for Delegate-elect Simonds, we’re also working to support Joshua Cole in HD-28. In that election, 147 voters were erroneously given ballots for the wrong districts — and the margin separating the two candidates is only 73 (less than half the number of disenfranchised voters). A new election is the only solution, and both the Washington Post and Daily Press editorial boards have called for one. Voters have brought a federal lawsuit requesting one as well; there will be a hearing in that case on Jan. 5 in Alexandria.

“We are grateful for your support for these two candidates, and even more importantly, for the voters of HD-94 and HD-28. They deserve fair elections.”

– Katie Baker
Communications Director
Virginia House Democrats