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Dems Withdraw Concession of Virginia House, Multiple Races Likely Going to Recount

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Virginia Democrats are not conceding control of the House of Delegates to Republicans, at least not yet, as two races appear to be headed to recounts.

The current tally in the chamber following the Nov. 2 statewide election has Republicans holding 50 seats and Democrats 48.

Last week Democratic House Speaker Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn issued a statement promising a “smooth transition” to the new speaker and pledging to work with the “new majority.”

However, after absentee and provisional ballots were counted, the races in the 85th and 91st state house districts of Virginia tightened.

Republican candidates hold narrow leads in both races.

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The Associated Press reported in the 85th district, located in Virginia Beach, Republican challenger Karen Greenhalgh leads Democratic incumbent Del. Alex Askew by 127 votes out of 28,413 cast.

And in the nearby 91st District, which includes part of the city of Hampton, Republican challenger A.C. Cordoza is ahead of incumbent Del. Martha Mugler by 94 votes out of 27,388 cast.

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Daily Press reported one reason the race tightened was due to a transposition error, when 767 votes were added to a tally instead of 676.

Mugler withdrew her concession after learning of the error.

Because the leads in both races are less than 0.5 percent, Virginia law allows candidates to request a state-funded recount, according to the AP.

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“The speaker’s stance is that there are provisions in place to make sure we can be certain what the outcomes are, and it’s always good to check. We’re just seeing what the outcome is going to be,” Filler-Corn spokesperson Sigalle Reshef said.

Meanwhile, Garren Shipley, a spokesperson for Republican House Minority Leader Todd Gilbert, said, “Based on past experience and our experience with observers on the ground, we are confident we will have 52 seats when the new General Assembly convenes in January.”

A recount cannot be initiated until after the results are officially certified.

The Board of Elections is slated to meet Nov. 15 to do so.

Askew and Mugler will then have up to 10 days to file a petition in court requesting a recount.

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