Nov 8, 2011

20-20 Tie in Virginia Senate, Republicans See Gains in House

Tonight’s elections could bring a significant shift in power in the Virginia Senate.  Harkening back to the 1995 elections, when Democrats and Republicans shared power in the Senate,Virginia could be headed for a 20-20 tie in the Senate.  At least one senate race appears to be headed for a recount (Senator Edd Houck v. Bryce Reeves – SD 17).  Houck chairs the Education and Health Committee and is a powerful budget conferee.  

The Senate breakdown is 20 Democrats and 20 Republicans. However, the lead for Republican Bryce Reeves over Edd Houck is 86 votes, close enough to result in an automatic recount. Reeves’ victory leads to a 20-20 tie for the first time since the late 1990’s when both parties developed an historic power-sharing agreement.

No Republican incumbents were defeated, while Republicans were able to defeat one long term incumbent in the Senate - Senator Roscoe Reynolds of Henry County – and win the two newly created districts (SD 13 and SD 22).  

Republicans in the House are close to a 2-to-1 majority, with some races still outstanding. Republicans picked up most open seats and defeated the sitting minority leader, as well as incumbents Robin Abbott and William Barlow.  In a rare battle between two incumbent legislators, Democratic Minority Leader Ward Armstrong was defeated by Delegate Charles Poindexter.

Democrats face a growing challenge in rural areas.  In Southside and Southwest Virginia, both former Democratic strongholds, Democrats now have only one delegate and one senator. Republicans also saw big wins in Northern Virginia, an area that has trended democratic in recent years.

The coming weeks will bring news of changes within both houses, legislative committee membership and committee rules.  McGuireWoods Consulting will be tracking these changes and how they impact the legislative process and alert you with further updates. 


Mark Dudenhefer (R-2nd)
Israel O’Quinn (R-5th)
Nick Rush (R-7th)
Randy Minchew (R-10th)
Joseph Yost (R-12th)
Chris Head (R-17th)
Michael Webert (R-18th)
Alfonso Lopez (D-49th)
Peter Ferrell (R-56th)
Matt Farris (R-59th)
Richard Morris (R-64th)
David Ramadan (R-87th)
Michael Watson (R-93rd)
David Yancey (R-94th)
Keith Hodges (R-98th)
Margaret Ransone (R-99th) 


Dick Black (R-13th)
Tom Garrett (R-22nd)
Adam Ebbin (D-30th)
Barbara Favola (D-31st)
Bill Carrico (R-40th)



Senate District 17 - Houck/Reeves
House District 87 - Kondratick/Ramadan