- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Virginia Republicans kept an open seat in the state Senate but failed to capture a Democratic seat in the House of Delegates, unofficial results from the Virginia State Board of Elections showed last night after two special elections.

Republican Senate candidate Ryan T. McDougle won 6,822 votes in the 4th District in Hanover County, while Democrat Roger G. Cavendish, a small-business owner, received 1,558 votes, with all 72 precincts reporting.

Mr. McDougle, a delegate from Mechanicsville, will take the seat left vacant by Sen. William T. Bolling, a Republican who was elected lieutenant governor in November.

Meanwhile, Democrat Dan C. Bowling bested Republican T. Shea Cook and two independent challengers for a House seat from the 3rd District, which represents part of Southwest Virginia.

Mr. Bowling, a member of the Tazewell County Board of Supervisors, received 6,575 votes to replace Delegate Jackie T. Stump, a Buchanan Democrat who is retiring for health reasons. Mr. Cook received 3,064 votes, with all 45 precincts reporting.

Mr. Stump, who served 16 years in the House, will take a spot on the Virginia Parole Board.

For their Senate campaigns, Mr. McDougle raised $163,981 and Mr. Cavendish raised $6,000, according to the Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP), www.vpap.org.

Running for the House seat, Mr. Cook raised $65,141 and Mr. Bowling raised $2,870, according to VPAP.

Also in that race were independent candidates Gerald L. Elkins and R. Brian Wright. Mr. Elkins captured 999 votes, and Mr. Wright received 256 votes.

With the results of the special elections, the House has 58 Republicans, 39 Democrats and three independents, and the Senate has 24 Republicans and 16 Democrats.

However, the legislative shuffle is not over. One special election is scheduled for Tuesday, and two more are expected at the end of the month.

All three seats now are held by Republicans.

Delegate L. Preston Bryant Jr., Lynchburg Republican, is leaving the House to become secretary of natural resources for Timothy M. Kaine, a Democrat who will be sworn in as governor Jan. 14. A special election for Mr. Bryant’s seat from the 23rd District will be held Tuesday.

Sen. William C. Mims, Loudoun Republican, will become chief deputy attorney general under Robert F. McDonnell, a Republican who has been elected attorney general. A special election for Mr. Mims’ seat from the 33rd District has not been scheduled.

Officials from both parties said they think the race for Mr. Mims’ seat will be competitive. The two other seats are favored for Republicans.

Democrats have nominated Mark Herring for the 33rd District seat. He will face either Randy Minchew or Mick Staton, Republicans who are facing off for the nomination.

Legislative leaders will schedule a special election for Mr. McDougle’s seat in the 97th District. It is likely to be held at the end of this month.

The 60-day legislative session begins next Wednesday.

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