By Leonard E, Colvin
New Journal and Guide
For the first time since 1993 Democrats now control the Executive branch and the State General Assembly after the November 5th General Election.
With results still coming in the morning after, 95 of the 100 contests in the House of Delegates had been settled with the Democrats securing a 53-42 margin.
In the Senate with 39 contests settled, the Democrats had a 21-18 margin.
The Democrats only needed two seats in the House and one in the Senate to secure control of the Legislature. If the election had ended in a tie, with the vote of the Democratic Lt. Governor, the party would still have control.
With the help of a suit filed by a group of Black Democrats two years ago, challenging the 2010 redistricting map drawn by the GOP which gave them control of the legislature, Democrats were given a boost.
New districts drawn by the courts caused more Democrats to be moved into a number of GOP House and Senate districts, making them more competitive in Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia.
Some of the notable Democratic victories in Hampton Roads included first-time candidate Clinton Jenkins defeating longtime GOP incumbent Del. Chris Jones for the 76th House District in Suffolk and Chesapeake.
This was the only Republican House seat in South Hampton Roads the Democrats managed to flip from GOP control. The other victories were open seats or seats successfully defended by the incumbents in both parties.
In Portsmouth, Democrat Don Scott, a lawyer, won overwhelmingly against Republican Tim Evans and Independent Ryan Benton to claim the 80th District House seat.
That seat was once held by Matthew James, who resigned to take a job with the Northam Administration.
Democrat Alex Askew defeated Republican Norman Dewey Holcomb in the 85th House race in Virginia Beach.
Attorney Len Myers, the Democrat, was defeated by the Republican Barry Knight, who held on to the 81st District seat for the GOP.
With the Democrats’ wins, they will be able to control the redistricting process after the 2020 Census.
It will also help the party pass much of the progressive legislation related to healthcare, gun control and passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.