Democratic delegates will seek recounts in two Virginia House races

Virginia Politics

Both races are based in Hampton Roads

Voters fill out their ballots in the gymnasium at Robert S. Payne Elementary School in Lynchburg, Va., on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021. (Kendall Warner/The News & Advance via AP)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP/WAVY) — Two incumbent Democrats who trail Republican challengers in close races in Virginia’s House of Delegates say they will seek recounts, leaving control of the House in limbo.

Republicans have won 50 seats and Democrats have won 48. Republicans hold razor-thin margins in the two remaining races that are headed to a recount.

That leaves open a remote possibility of a 50-50 split in the chamber.

The Associated Press hasn’t called those two races: District 91 (Hampton), where Republican A.C. Cordoza leads Democratic Del. Martha Mugler by 94 votes out of 27,388 votes counted; and District 85 (Virginia Beach), where Republican Karen Greenhalgh leads Democratic Del. Alex Askew by 127 votes out of 28,413 votes counted.

House Democrats on Tuesday announced the two incumbent candidates would seek recounts.

“The House Democratic Caucus fully supports Delegates Askew and Mugler in their recount efforts,” said
Virginia House Democratic Caucus Executive Director Jaime Reimers. “We have long stated that every vote matters, and considering how many major errors there were in the number of ballots reported since election night, it is important that we take advantage of all available options to make sure every ballot is counted properly.”

The Virginia Board of Elections voted to certify the election results on Monday. There was a reported .44% margin in the 85th House race and a .33% margin in the 91st House race.

Results that fall under the .5% difference allow for a state-funded recount if requested.

“In light of the errors and changes in reporting of ballots, we are requesting a recount in order to exercise all possible due diligence,” said Mugler in a prepared statement in a House Democrats news release Tuesday. “I trust the process and will rely on the methods put in place to uphold fair elections in the Commonwealth.”

“Voting is a privilege, and we must honor every person who came out and exercised one of our most fundamental rights by ensuring that each vote is properly accounted for,” added Askew.

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