- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 10, 2011

Seven-term incumbent state Sen. R. Edward Houck, Spotsylvania Democrat, has conceded defeat in the 17th district Virginia Senate race to Republican Bryce Reeves, ensuring the GOP a 20th seat and an effective majority in the General Assembly’s upper chamber.

Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling presides over the Senate, and GOP leaders said Wednesday that they intend to use his tie-breaking vote to govern as a majority, which will give them control of the governor’s seat and state legislature for just the second time since the Civil War.

The State Board of Elections’ latest unofficial totals showed Reeves with a 222-vote lead out of more than 45,000 cast — well within the 1 percent margin that would entitle Mr. Houck to ask for a recount after the board certifies the results on Nov. 28.

Earlier in the day, both the Republican Party of Virginia and Mr. Reeves declared him the winner, though canvassing in Louisa County had yet to be completed at that time.

“I am looking forward to serving the people of the 17th district and working with Governor Bob McDonnell in Richmond to create jobs, grow our economy, improve our schools, and keep Virginia moving in the right direction,” Mr. Reeves said in a statement. “I want to thank everyone who came out to vote, regardless of who they voted for, and I look forward to serving all of the people of the 17th district.”

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