Home 2017 Races Live Blog: Virginia Special Elections (1/10/17)

Live Blog: Virginia Special Elections (1/10/17)


There were three special elections held today in Virginia, with polls now closed. The elections were in SD 9 (Democrat Jennifer McClellan will win EASILY in this overwhelmingly Democratic district in Henrico County and Richmond City, formerly held by now-Congressman Donald McEachin); SD 22 (Democrat Ryant Washington is running against two Republicans in this strongly “red” district, formerly held by now-Congressman Tom Garrett, so I’d say he has an outside shot if Democrats can get their “base” voters out and the two Republicans split their “base” vote); and HD 85 (Democrat Cheryl Turpin running in a Republican-leaning district in Virginia Beach, formerly held by now-Congressman Scott Taylor, so again it depends on turnout).  I’ll live blog the results here (numbers from the State Board of Elections website); feel free to report whatever you are seeing/hearing in the comments section. Thanks.

UPDATE 6:30 am: Apparently, the Lynchburg precincts in SD-22 are more Democratic than Lynchburg as a whole, and Ryant Washington won them by about 200 votes. Still, unfortunately, he lost to Mark Peake by 13 points (53%-40%) overall, meaning that Republicans hold on to their slim control of the Virginia State Senate.

UPDATE 8:11 pm – Final results in HD-85 are Holcomb 53%-Turpin 47%. Blech.

UPDATE 8:04 pm – With 17 of 18 precincts reporting in HD-85, it’s Holcomb 52.6%-Turpin 47.3%. We had a shot there, but…nope. 🙁

UPDATE 8:00 pm – Senate Dem Caucus Chair Sen. Mamie Locke says, “”Del. McClellan’s commitment to promoting opportunity for working Virginians is second to none. Her robust legislative agenda is only one piece of why we are excited to have her join us in the Senate. She has demonstrated time and time again her commitment to serving her community and her Commonwealth. The Caucus is excited and eager to work with  Senator-elect McClellan as we continue to move Virginia forward.”

UPDATE 7:48 pm — With 14 of 18 precincts reporting in HD-85, it’s Holcomb 52%-Turpin 48%. Not looking good for the “blue team” here (to put it mildly). And just for the record, with 66 of 85 precincts reporting in SD-22, it’s Peake 55%-Washington 37%-Hines 8%.

UPDATE 7:41 pm — With 63 of 85 precincts reporting, it’s Peake 54.7%-Washington 37.1%-Hines 8.1%. Oh well.

UPDATE 7:39 pm — Virginia House Dems congratulate Jennifer McClellan on her election to the State Senate.

“Jenn has been a tireless advocate for the working families of Virginia’s 71st House District, and she will be sorely missed by our caucus,” said Virginia House Democratic Leader David J. Toscano. “She has been a strong voice for both women and people of color, and she has given countless hours to community organizations. Both Richmond and Virginia are better for her service. We wish Jenn and her family the best as she transitions to her new role as Senator for Virginia’s 9th District.”

“Jenn embodies everything a public servant should aspire to, and it has been a great honor to count her among my colleagues,” said Delegate Charniele Herring, House Democratic Caucus Chair. “She has a strong command of complex policies and makes every decision with the interests of working people in mind. Her constituents and the Senate will both be well-served by her expertise and relentless energy. I look forward to our continued work together as she advances to the Senate.”

UPDATE 7:34 pm — With 50 of 85 precincts reporting in SD-22, it’s now Peake 51.7%-Washington 38.6%-Hines 9.6%. With 11 of 18 precincts reporting in HD-85, it’s now Holcomb 1,879 (51.1%)-Turpin 1,798 (48.9%). The problem for Turpin is that the remaining precincts went for Trump in November…

UPDATE 7:30 pm — With 47 of 85 precincts reporting in SD-22, it’s now Peake 51.5%-Washington 38.5%-Hines 9.9%. With 8 of 18 precincts reporting in HD-85, it’s now Holcomb 1,446-Turpin 1,289. Looking at the outstanding precincts, this is going to be REALLY tough for Turpin to pull out…

UPDATE 7:19 pm — With 40 of 85 precincts reporting, it’s Peake 50.4%-Washington 37.7%-Hines 11.9%. Yeah, this is over. Bummer.

UPDATE 7:19 pm — With 29 of 75 precincts reporting, Jennifer McClellan is still winning by an enormous margin (91%-8%). Congratulations to Senator-elect McClellan! In SD-22, with 28 of 85 precincts now reporting, it’s Peake 3,118-Washington 2,271-Hines 1,050. Looks like Peake is going to win this one, sad to say. And with 1 of 18 precincts reporting from HD-85, it’s Turpin 147-Holcomb 101. The problem is, that precinct is a strongly Democratic one, so let’s see what happens when some Republican ones report.

UPDATE 7:14 pm — As predicted, Jennifer McClellan is crushing her Libertarian opponent (92%-8% with 9 of 75 precincts reporting). This one is over.  As for SD-22, with 18 of 85 precincts reporting, it’s now Peake 1,811-Washington 1,164-Hines 723. Not looking great for Washington, with nothing in yet from strongly Republican Lynchburg. Nothing from HD-85 yet.

UPDATE 7:10 pm — With 9 of 85 precincts reporting in SD-22, it’s now Washington 607-Peake 546-Hines 380. Innnnnteresting…let’s see if Peake and Hines keep splitting the “R” vote as the numbers continue to come in.

  • Hecate_Demetersdatter

    What was turnout like?

    • Low.

      • Laura Lee

        At our polling place in Ashland my husband and I were voter number 37 and 38 @ 6

  • bobgoldstein

    HD-85 was winnable if the Turpin campaign had simply found a way to turn out JUST 3000 OF THE 14,860 VOTERS who voted for Hillary in this District two months ago. They didn’t, obviously. This is a lesson for all of us who will be working on Virginia legislative elections 10 months from now. THE VOTES ARE THERE. We need to give Democratic voters a stronger reason to turn out.

    • Yep.

      • bobgoldstein

        Well, 3301 voters was actually the magic number. Of course, as you know, Lowell, this is our problem EVERY two years. But it seems so much more obvious (and depressing) when it comes right after the Presidential, and we see such a huge dropoff in turnout.

        • Yep, Dems SHOULD have been fired up. Why weren’t they?

  • DPVA Statement on the Election Results in SD-22 and HD-85

    Democratic Party of Virginia (DPVA) Chairwoman Susan Swecker released the following statements after the results of HD-85 and SD-22 were released:

    “I commend Ryant Washington and his team for a truly hard-fought race in Virginia’s 22nd Senatorial District. Ryant left it all on the field, and I’m confident that his role as a community leader and public official won’t stop here.

    “I’d also like to thank the many volunteers who spent countless hours shaping up this race in a short amount of time. It’s inspiring to see so many Democrats get involved – it’s a positive sign for our other races in 2017. This district might be deep red for now, but we’re proud of our coordinated efforts that put this race on the map for the first time in many years.”


    “I’d like to commend Cheryl Turpin on her hard-fought race. She inspired so many people to get involved and brought important issues to the forefront. I know Cheryl will continue to fight in her community for the issues that matter to the people of Virginia Beach.”

  • John Farrell

    All the e-mails and energy was focused on SD-22 where we lost by 3,500 votes and little or none was focused on HD-35 where we lost by 300.

    Misapplication of resources? Again?

  • NOTE: Ryant Washington ended up losing SD-22 by about 13.5 percentage points (53.1%-39.6%). That’s 6.5 points better than Mark Obenshain 60%-Mark Herring 40%; 2.5 points better than Cooch 54%-McAuliffe 38%; 3.5 points better than Gillespie 57%-Warner 40%; almost exactly the same margin as Romney 56%-Obama 42%.