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Democrats win both chambers of Virginia legislature


The party now has control of the Virginia General Assembly, the governorship, and both U.S. Senate seats.

Image source: CBS Evening News YouTube video screenshot

The Democratic Party flipped both chambers of the Virginia legislature on Tuesday, winning total control of the statehouse for the first time in nearly 25 years.

What are the details?

Prior to Tuesday's vote, Republicans held narrow majorities in both the Virginia Senate and the House of Delegates. Now, the Democrats not only run the commonwealth's General Assembly, but hold the governorship, lieutenant governorship, attorney general, and both U.S. Senate seats.

According to The Hill, "Democrats also hold seven of Virginia's 11 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives."

NPR noted that "Democrats were able to pull off this victory, despite scandals among the three top statewide officials in their party." Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and Attorney General Mark Herring (D) were both embroiled in blackface scandals earlier this year, while Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax(D) continues to fight resurfaced allegations of sexual assault, which he has repeatedly denied. All three resisted calls to resign.

Gov. Northam celebrated his party's wins in a statement Tuesday, saying, "Tonight, the ground has shifted in Virginia government." He added that voters "want us to defend the rights of women, LGBTQ Virginians, immigrant communities, and communities of color," NBC News reported.

"They want us to increase access to a world-class education for every child, and make sure no one is forced to go bankrupt because they or a family member gets sick," the governor continued. "They want us to invest in clean energy and take bold action to combat climate change. And they want us to finally pass commonsense gun safety legislation, so no one has to fear being hurt or killed while at school, at work, or at their place of worship."

NBC News reported that "voter animosity toward [President] Trump has powered Democratic gains in Virginia in recent elections," while Fox News reported that "Virginia has been trending blue for years thanks to growth in more diverse, liberal suburbs and cities, and population declines in more rural, conservative areas."

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