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It’s official – Republican David Yancey has been declared the winner in a controversial Virginia House of Delegates race that determined whether the GOP would retain majority control.
It’s amazing news that Republicans did not expect to hear.
If you haven’t been following the story, the race between Yancey and Democrat Shelly Simonds will go down as one of the most bizarre elections in history.
The race was so close that just one vote appeared to decide it! A judge later ruled that a contested ballot was a legal vote for Yancey, and the race became a tie.
Incredibly, lots were drawn out of a ceramic bowl on Thursday as a tie-breaker, with Yancey winning the game of political Yahtzee.
More from the Chicago Tribune:
The drawing drew a large, if lopsided, crowd to the Virginia elections board meeting. Many of the people packed into the room were either reporters or Simonds’ supporters. Yancey did not attend but did have a few GOP staffers there to watch.
The name of each candidate was printed on a piece of paper and placed into separate film canisters. The canisters were put into a cobalt-blue-and-white ceramic bowl made by a local artist, stirred around and Yancey’s name was chosen first.
Slips of paper with the names of Virginia House of Delegates candidates Shelly Simonds and David Yancy are drawn from a bowl during a meeting of the Virginia State Board of Elections in Richmond, Virginia on Jan. 4, 2018.
As Yancey’s name was announced by Board Chairman James Alcorn, Simonds sat stoically, holding the hands of her daughter and husband seated beside her. There were no cheers from Yancey’s few supporters. The electric mood went suddenly still.
Simonds endured a long moment of silence as the elections officials certified Yancey as the winner. The only sound in the room was the clicking of cameras, most of which were trained on Simonds.
Many state workers and staffers who work for Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe quickly left the room disappointed and Simonds addressed the media.
“This is a sad conclusion for me,” she said. However, she did not rule out asking for a recount, saying that her options were still on the table.
Of course, the party that loses a contested race will continue to ask for recounts. Republicans do it too.
But we should all be able to agree that when you’re down to lots in a ceramic bowl, it’s time to move on to the next election…and see if anyone can manage to win by 2+ votes!