Magazine article State Legislatures

Off-Year Elections Give GOP the Virginia House

Magazine article State Legislatures

Off-Year Elections Give GOP the Virginia House

Article excerpt

For the first time in history, Republicans rule the Virginia House of Delegates. November's off-year elections gave them a 52-47 advantage (there is one independent). In the Senate, the GOP retained its 21-19 lead and defeated Democratic Senate President Pro Tern Stanley Walker who had served 28 years.

Five legislative chambers were involved in the off-year voting, but the Virginia House was the only one where party control switched. Democrats now control 19 legislatures, Republicans control 18, and 12 are split.

In New Jersey, Republicans held the Assembly, but Democrats picked up three seats, narrowing the margin of control to 45-35. In Mississippi, Democrats gained three House seats, padding their majority to 86-33 with three independents. In the Senate, party control was unchanged with Democrats keeping a 34-18 edge. In Louisiana, Democrats retained control of both the House and Senate.

A special election in Washington gave the Democrats a chance to win the House, but Republican Representative Don Cox held the seat he was appointed to in mid-term. The chamber remains tied at 49-49.

The three gubernatorial races in 1999 gave Republicans Louisiana (Mike Foster) and Democrats Kentucky (Paul Patton). But the Mississippi House may have to resolve the question of who the next governor there will be. Neither Democratic candidate Ron Musgrove nor Republican Mike Parker garnered more than 50 percent of the vote, throwing the decision to the House. …

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