- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Republicans recaptured control of the Virginia House of Delegates late Tuesday night after Republican Kim Taylor, a political newcomer, narrowly defeated Democrat Del. Lashrecse Aird, adding to the GOP election sweep of the commonwealth that evening. 

The GOP win of the lower chamber in Virginia’s General Assembly came just after Republican Glenn Youngkin won the governor’s election against Democrat Terry McAuliffe, who was aiming to win a second non-consecutive four-year term in the governor’s mansion. Democrats still retain a slight edge in the state Senate, which was not on the ballot this year.

Mr. Youngkin shared his victory night with fellow Republican Winsome Sears, who made history as the commonwealth’s first Black woman elected to a statewide post as lieutenant governor. Ms. Taylor declared victory over Ms. Aird following an incredible upset despite the Democrat incumbent raising $1.4 million to Ms. Taylor’s $209,901.

“The voices of the people of Dinwiddie, Petersburg and West Chesterfield were heard today. This is a clear referendum on the Big Democrat Corporate spending and radical policies that do not reflect our communities,” Ms. Taylor said in a statement. “I’m proud and excited to work for the people of the 63rd District, and grateful and humbled by their tremendous grassroots support.”

“Virginia voters made a historic statement, delivering a clear rebuke of the failed policies of the last two years and electing Republicans up and down the ballot,” Republican House Minority Leader Todd Gilbert, who declared victory at 1:40 a.m. 

 “In addition to electing Glenn Youngkin, Winsome Sears and [Attorney General-elect] Jason Miyares [to statewide offices], voters have given Republicans a majority in the House of Delegates,” he said.

According to the Virginia Public Access Project, six Democratic incumbents in the House of Delegates lost their seats. Republican Tara Durant defeated Del. Josh Cole by about 700 votes in a district previously represented by former House Speaker Bill Howell, a Republican who retired in 2018. 

Other Democratic incumbents who were defeated include Del. Chris Hurst of Montgomery, Del. Martha Mugler of Poquoson, Del. Nancy Guy of Virginia Beach and Del. Roslyn Tyler of Sussex. 

By Tuesday morning, Virginia Republicans appeared to recapture the majority of the House after garnering five seats in the unofficial vote tally but later lost key races in the Richmond region, Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia as early absentee ballot counts were postponed. 

• Kerry Picket can be reached at kpicket@washingtontimes.com.

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