- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 18, 2017

Democrats in the Commonwealth of Virginia are preparing to request recounts in at least three House of Delegates contests where Republican candidates won by razor-thin margins, potentially putting a new party in control of the state’s GOP-run legislature.

The Virginia State Board of Election is slated to certify the results of this month’s House races on Monday, November 20, including three where Republicans won by a margin of less than 0.5 percent, WTOP reported Saturday.

The races include contests in the 28th, 40th and 94th Districts where Republicans won by a thin margin of votes during the Nov. 7 election, according to preliminary results.

Republicans will control the House by a 51-49 margin if the results aren’t reversed, so even a single successful recall effort stands to cost the GOP its existing majority.

In the 28th District encompassing parts of Stafford and Fredericksburg, Republican candidate Bob Thomas currently leads Democrat opponent Joshua Cole by 82 votes. A federal judge ruled Friday against the counting of 55 absentee ballots in Mr. Cole’s favor, but his campaign manager, Eric Sundberg, said the contest was anything but over.

“The continuation of this is making sure that every vote counts, be that a recount [or] be that continued legal action,” Mr. Sundberg told WTOP.

In the 40th District covering Fairfax and Prince William Counties, incumbent Republican Timothy Hugo currently leads Democratic challenger Donte Tanner by 106 votes.

In the 94th District covering Newport News, meanwhile, incumbent Republican David Yancey currently leads Democratic challenger Shelly Simonds by only 10 ballots.

Candidates can request a recount within 10 days of an election if they’ve lost by 1 percent of the votes, and Democrats are expected to take that route in those districts and potentially others, WTOP reported.

The Virginia House of Delegates race was the first major state legislature contest to take place following President Trump’s victory in 2016 and was widely viewed as a barometer for gauging voter reaction to his performance in office.

Republicans went into the November election holding 66 seats in Virginia’s legislature’s 100-seat lower house to the Democrats’ 34.

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