Shelly Simonds, a Democrat in Virginia, unseated Republican delegate David Yancey in the state House after winning the election for the 94th district by a single vote. The announcement came on Tuesday after a recount of votes originally cast last month.
Simonds’ victory means that the Virginia House of Delegates is now tied between Republicans and Democrats, with 50 representatives on each side; it had previously been under Republican control for nearly two decades.
— VA House Democrats (@VAHouseDems) December 19, 2017
Simonds was awestruck by the outcome and the entire recount process, telling the New York Times, “It was a beautiful thing to see democracy in action.”
In a statement, she said, “I want to thank the voters who came out on Nov. 7. What a difference this is from 2015 when I ran before. Everyone came out and we rocked this town.”
David Toscano, leader of the House Democrats, commented on how monumental Simonds’ win is and how unprecedented the tie between parties is. “With the election of [Shelly Simonds] today, the Virginia House of Delegates begins one of the most significant periods in its almost 400 year history, as Democrats and Republicans will arrive next session with 50 delegates each,” he wrote on Twitter. “We now have a great opportunity to share power in ways that will improve the lives of our constituents &advance the interests of this Commonwealth. Democrats look forward to working with our Republican colleagues to build this system of power sharing &govern in a way that will make Virginians proud.Let’s work together to do this.”
Last month, 15 Democrats, primarily women, unseated Republicans in Virginia. This latest win proves how important it is for each and every single person to get out and vote.