A Democrat conceded on Thursday in one of four razor-close races for the Virginia House of Delegates, leaving three other contests yet to be settled in decisions that will determine whether Republicans hold onto their majority in the chamber.
Democrat Larry Barnett conceded he lost in his bid to unseat Del. Roxann Robinson (R-Chesterfield) in the 27th district in the suburbs south of Richmond. Robinson was ahead of Barnett by 124 votes, which would have qualified for a state-funded recount.
Democrats have secured victories in 49 out of 100 seats in the House of Delegates as part of a historic sweep on Election Day. They need one more victory to force a power-sharing agreement with Republicans and two more to take control of the chamber for the first time since 2000. Before the election, Republicans held 66 seats. As of Thursday, they held 47.
Republicans have narrow leads in the remaining three contests: In District 40, Del. Tim Hugo (R-Fairfax) leads Donte Tanner by 115 votes. In District 28, Republican Robert Thomas is ahead of Joshua Cole by 86 votes. In District 94, Del. David Yancey (R-Newport News) is hanging onto his seat by just 13 votes more than Democrat Shelly Simonds.
Provisional ballots are supposed to be counted by Monday, and recounts in the three remaining races cannot commence until election results are certified shortly before Thanksgiving.