The Democrats won all the statewide races in Virginia on Tuesday, from Governor to Lieutenant Governor to Attorney General. That in itself is pretty impressive, but here’s what’s downright astonishing: the party may very well take control of the Virginia House of Delegates. That’s the lower house of the legislature, the one in which Republicans held a 66-34 advantage going into this year’s election.
Unofficial returns showed Democrats unseating at least 11 Republicans and flipping three seats that had been occupied by GOP incumbents who didn’t seek reelection. Four other races were so close that they qualify for a recount, and results will determine control of the chamber. The results marked the most sweeping shift in control of the legislature since the Watergate era.
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One Democrat became Virginia’s first openly transgender person to win elective office, unseating an opponent of LGBT rights. The election signaled a major shift in the gender of a body long dominated by men: Of the 14 seats Democrats flipped, all were held by men and 10 were won by women. And two of those women, both from Prince William County, became the first Latinas elected to the General Assembly.
That transgender woman not only beat an enemy of LGBTQ rights, she beat the guy who wrote a “bathroom bill” which died in committee earlier this year. That has to be particularly sweet for the Democrats and particularly galling for the loser. Good.