Virginia Democrats flip both legislative chambers, cementing political control in state

Democrats flipped both chambers of the Virginia State Assembly in Tuesday’s elections, giving the party control of the legislative branch for the remainder of Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam’s term.

Democrats have won 21 of the state’s 40 Senate seats, while Republicans won 17 seats and lead in two others.

In the 100-member House of Delegates, Democrats won 53 seats and lead in two others, one independent leads in a district, and Republicans have won 42 seats and lead in two others.

The lawmakers along with Northam are expected to push forward on priorities such as strengthening gun control laws and loosening abortion restrictions. Democrats will also have full control over redistricting after the 2020 census and could move forward on restoring voting rights to felons, a policy that former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe championed but Republicans partially blocked.

Going into Election Day, Republicans had a 51-48 majority in the House of Delegates and a 20-19 majority in the state Senate, with each chamber having one vacancy.

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