- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 3, 2015

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The latest on Election Day in Virginia as Democrats try to gain control of the Senate and Republicans battle to retain their slim edge while retaining their majority in the House of Delegates. (All times local)

10:20 p.m.

With all races decide, not a single seat flipped control in the Virginia Senate and Republicans retained a 21-19 lead.

All incumbents won re-election and all of the open seats were won by members of the same party as those who currently hold them, after both Republicans and Democrats spent millions of dollars on several contests.

In one of two closely watched open seats, Republican Glen Sturtevant kept the Richmond-area Senate seat being vacated by retiring moderate GOP Sen. John Watkins.

In the other, Democrat Jeremy McPike kept a Northern Virginia Senate seat belonging to retiring Democrat Sen. Charles Colgan.

In the House, the GOP maintained a clear advantage.

9:45 p.m.

Democrat Jeremy McPike kept a key northern Virginia Senate seat in his party’s hands, defeating Republican Hal Parrish.

With 84 percent of precincts reporting, McPike had 54 percent of the vote, compared to 46 percent for Parrish.

The race attracted more than $1 million in campaign spending, as Republicans nominated Parrish, a popular mayor of Manassas to try to wrest the seat from Democrats. The Parrish family has held elected office in Manassas and Prince William County for decades.

The seat had previously been held by 89-year-old Democrat Charles Colgan, the longest serving state senator in Virginia history, who opted not to run for re-election.

The district profile tilts strongly toward Democrats, and McPike ran a campaign centered on education and transportation issues.

9:40 p.m.

Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille’s effort to keep his job through a write-in candidacy appears to have fallen short.

Election results from northern Virginia’s largest city show that Vice Mayor Allison Silberberg is winning 65 percent of the vote with 60 percent of the precincts reporting. The returns show that write-in ballots, likely to be overwhelmingly cast for Euille, have received 35 percent of the vote.

Silberberg won a three-way Democratic primary over Euille and former Mayor Kerry Donley. Silberberg was generally seen as more skeptical of developers’ interests in the city, while Euille and Donley were seen as more pro-development.

After his defeat in the primary, Euille launched a write-in campaign, with Donley’s endorsement.

Euille became Alexandria’s first African-American mayor when he was elected in 2003. He won re-election three times.

9:25 p.m.

Virginia Republicans have maintained control of the state Senate after scoring key victories in Tuesday’s legislative elections.

Republicans were able to hold off well-financed Democratic candidates in a handful of competitive districts, allowing the GOP to keep control of both chambers of the General Assembly and remain a potent foil to Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s legislative priorities.

In the House, the GOP maintained a clear advantage.

With Republicans maintaining control of the General Assembly, McAuliffe lost a chance to gain leverage when negotiating with GOP lawmakers on matters like the state budget during the last two years of his term. And his top legislative priorities, like expanding Medicaid coverage to the state’s poor or enacting tighter gun laws, remain out of reach.

9:15 p.m.

Democrat Sen. John Edwards held off Republican challenger Nancy Dye to win re-election, a victory Democrats needed to have a chance to regain control of the state Senate.

Edwards is leading Dye 50 percent to 44 percent with 83 percent of the vote counted. Independent Don Caldwell, a former Democrat, has received about 6 percent of the vote.

The Roanoke-area race was one of a handful of closely watched contested contests by leaders in both major political parties, which are fighting for control of the state Senate.

Edwards is one of the few Democratic elected state officials left in the western part of Virginia.

Republicans currently enjoy a 21-19 advantage, but Democrats can take control by gaining one seat thanks to Democrat Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam’s status as a tiebreaker.

9:10 p.m.

Republican Richard Black has won re-election to the Virginia state Senate, fighting off an aggressive challenge from Democrat Jill McCabe.

With 80 percent of precincts reporting, Black had 53 percent of the vote, compared to 47 percent for McCabe.

The district stretches through the conservative outer suburbs of Loudoun and Prince William counties. Black has long been one of the legislature’s most outspoken conservatives.

Last year, Black garnered widespread attention after he wrote a letter to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad praising him for protecting the country’s Christians. The letter prompted criticism from both human rights activists and Islamic State militants who are fighting Assad there.

McCabe, a pediatrician, raised more than $1.2 million, far more than Black, in her effort to win the seat.

9:05 p.m.

Republican Glen Sturtevant has defeated Democrat Dan Gecker in a state senate contest, a significant victory that bolsters the GOP’s chances of retaining control of the upper chamber.

Sturtevant leads Gecker 50 percent to 47 percent with 99 percent of the vote counted.

The Richmond-area swing seat, left vacant by retiring moderate GOP Sen. John Watkins, was the focus of heavy spending by both major political parties.

Gecker, a developer, was helped by $700,000 in spending by a gun-control group backed by billionaire Michael Bloomberg. Sturtevant, an attorney, was helped by a Washington-based GOP group largely backed by corporate interests.

Republicans currently enjoy a 21-19 advantage, but Democrats can take control by gaining one seat thanks to Democrat Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam’s status as a tiebreaker.

8: 55 p.m.

State Sen. Lynwood Lewis has defeated Republican challenger Richard Ottinger in state Senate contest that Democrats needed to win as they try and regain control of the upper chamber.

Lewis was ahead of Ottinger 57 percent to 42 percent with 59 percent of the vote counted. Senate District 6 includes parts of Hampton Roads, a portion of the middle peninsula and all of the Eastern Shore.

The race was one of a handful of closely watched contests by leaders in both major political parties, which are fighting for control of the state Senate.

Republicans currently enjoy a 21-19 advantage, but Democrats can take control by gaining one seat thanks to Democrat Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam’s status as a tiebreaker.

8:25 p.m.

Democrats will maintain control over the District 93 seat in Virginia’s House of Delegates.

Democratic Del. Monty Mason was beating Republican Lara Overy with 57 percent of the vote with 88 percent of the precincts reporting Tuesday. Overy had 43 percent of the vote.

Mason, a Williamsburg resident who works in fraud protection for Visa, Inc., has held the seat since 2014. Overy serves as director of development at Thomas Nelson Community College.

District 93 includes Williamsburg and parts of Newport News, James City and York Counties. The district has leaned Democratic in recent elections.

While Democrats have focused on seizing control of the Senate, Republicans have sought to strengthen their hold over the House, where they’ve been in the majority for 15 years.

8:20 p.m.

Republican state Sen. Frank Wagner has defeated Democrat Gary McCollum in state Senate contest that Republicans needed to help keep control of the upper chamber.

Wagner was ahead of McCollum 55 percent to 45 percent with 82 percent of the vote counted.

The Virginia Beach contest was one of the state’s most expensive, and pit McCollum, a cable executive, against Wagner, a former shipyard owner.

The race was one of a handful of closely watched contested contests by leaders in both major political parties, which are fighting for control of the state Senate.

Republicans currently enjoy a 21-19 advantage, but Democrats can take control by gaining one seat thanks to Democrat Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam’s status as a tiebreaker.

5:30 p.m.

A nonprofit’s analysis of political advertising shows that Virginia candidates and outside groups spent more than $10 million running more than 20,000 TV ads this election season.

Michael Bloomberg’s gun control group led all spenders with $2.1 million in estimated spending trying to help Democrats in two key Senate seats, based on an analysis by The Center for Public Integrity.

In one of those key seats, GOP nominee Glen Sturtevant outspent his opponent Democratic Dan Gecker $915,000 to $770,000, based on the estimated figures. In the other, Democrat Jeremy McPike outspent GOP candidate Hal Parrish $888,000 to $437,000.

The Center for Public Integrity’s analysis used data from Kantar Media/CMAG, a media tracking firm that offers a widely accepted estimate of the money spent to air each spot.

4:55 p.m.

Election officials in Senate District 29’s Library Precinct in Woodbridge reported steady turnout Tuesday afternoon for an off-year election.

The marquee race is the state Senate race to replace retiring Democrat Charles Colgan. Democrats are hoping that Jeremy McPike can fend off Republican Hal Parrish as Democrats seek to wrest control of the Senate from the GOP.

Woodbridge resident Edwin Williams-Greer and his husband, Mark Williams-Greer, voted for McPike.

Mark Williams Greer said he and his husband are two black, married men and what they heard from the Republican side was not good at all.

His husband said gun control was an issue for him. He said he is a gun owner but believes it’s necessary to have sensible gun laws on the books.

Woodbridge resident Frances Sarno voted for Parrish. She said she came out primarily to vote for Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart, but was also persuaded to vote for Parrish.

She said it could have been the ads that persuaded her. The contest featured heavy spending on both sides.

1:30 p.m.

Republican Glen Sturtevant is doing some last-minute campaigning in a heavily Democratic area of the state Senate district he hopes to represent.

Sturtevant was shaking hands with a steady stream of voters outside a polling place in the Museum District on Tuesday.

But he didn’t seem to sway many voters in the precinct that’s among the more liberal in District 10.

Brendan Workman, a mortgage consultant, said Sturtevant seems more genuine than his opponent, Democrat Dan Gecker. But the 38-year-old said he voted for Gecker anyway because his views are more closely aligned with the Democrat’s.

Ruth Winkle, a retired teacher, said she supported Gecker because he’s not backed by the National Rifle Association.

Gun control has become a key issue in the race, with both the NRA and a gun-control group backed by Michael Bloomberg spending heavily on advertisements.

12:40 p.m.

The Democratic Party of Virginia released a memo to the news media Tuesday morning that appears aimed at tempering expectations about Election Day results.

The memo said the 2015 election “has always been an uphill battle for Democrats” and said it’s a “huge gain” for the party just to be competitive.

Democrats said the off-year election, political gerrymandering, and “fatigue” related to the Obama presidency have made this election favorable to Republicans.

Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe has made taking control of the Senate a top priority and has spent heavily in trying to improve his party’s field operations in key districts. His efforts have been bolstered by heavy donations and spending by Democratic megadonors and groups like billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s gun-control group.

12:30 p.m.

Voters in Chesterfield County cast ballots Tuesday in a heated state Senate race that could decide partisan control of the upper chamber.

Ron Davis, a retiree, cast his ballot at Clover Hill Elementary School for Democrat Dan Gecker. Davis said Gecker’s Republican opponent, Glen Sturtevant, lacks the necessary experience to be a state senator.

But Thomas A. Shearer said he was supporting Sturtevant in part because of the large financial assistance Gecker had received from billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s gun-control group. Shearer, also a retiree, said no candidate should be so heavily financed by out-of-state interests.

Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe has made taking control of the Senate a top priority, but Republicans are confident they’ve successfully contained the governor’s efforts.

Republicans control the House of Delegates by an overwhelming majority.

10:30 a.m.

A steady stream of voters filed into Janke Road Baptist Church in Richmond on Tuesday morning to vote in one of the key state Senate races.

Morton Mumma of Richmond voted with his wife shortly after 9 a.m. He said the contest between Republican Glen Sturtevant and Democrat Dan Gecker had gotten a lot of people’s attention. The two men are facing off in Senate District 10, with control of the state Senate in the balance.

Precinct official Chante Henderson said more than 230 voters had cast ballots shortly before 10 a.m.. The precinct has about 2,500 registered voters.

Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe has made taking control of the Senate a top priority and has spent heavily in trying to improve his party’s field operations in key districts. But Republicans are confident they’ve successfully matched those efforts.

Republicans control the House of Delegates by an overwhelming majority.

2 a.m.

The polls are open across Virginia from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe has made taking control of the state Senate a top priority and has spent heavily in trying to improve his party’s field operations in key districts. He’s been helped by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose gun control group said it was spending $2.2 million in contests in Richmond and northern Virginia.

But Republicans are confident they’ve successfully matched those efforts. They also hope to strengthen their grip on the House.

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