Simonds files motion; Supporters rally for court reversal


NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) – The race for the 94th House District continues to be the focus of Virginia politics.  Wednesday, state election officials delayed a tiebreaker between Republican David Yancey and Democrat Shelly Simonds.

On a day meant for being indoors, Shelly Simonds supporters were bundled up along a busy stretch of Newport News.

“It’s kind of chilly,” said Lauren Furey.

About 25 of Simonds’ supporters rallied in front of Yancey’s office.  The group called Peninsula Indivisible held signs and chanted.  They are upset over the court’s decision last week in favor of Yancey.

“It should have been settled,” added Christina Verderosa.  “It should have been over.  Everybody had a chance to make their points during the recount.”

Last week, Simonds won the initial recount by one vote.  The next day, Yancey appealed a single, controversial ballot.  The three judge panel ruled in his favor, which brought this race to a tie.

“I just think it is unfair,” said Joyce Martin.  “Shelly won the vote and it should be done.  For them to come back and try to persuade the court, it is wrong.”

The Board of Elections postponed the random drawing to decide a winner on Wednesday after Simonds filed paperwork asking for the judges to reconsider.

“It’s crazy,” Lauren Furey added.  “That means no one’s votes mattered.  They could have just flipped a coin from the beginning.  I really think it is important for people to know that local elections are important and it’s not just the big ones that matter.”

There’s no word when the judges will rule on Simonds’ motion.  Neither she nor David Yancey were available for comment Wednesday, but her supporters hope the judges have a change of heart.

“You can sit home and not do anything or you can come out brave the cold a little bit and maybe at least get your point across to a few people,” Verderosa said.

A win for Simonds would split power between the parties for the first time in 17 years.

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