State Del. Lynwood W. Lewis Jr. has won the recount for a Hampton Roads Senate seat, throwing control of the Virginia Senate to Democrats and giving Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s first-year agenda a crucial boost. Lewis’s slim lead over Republican Wayne Coleman grew from nine to 11 votes over the course of the recount Monday, which Republicans and Democrats had watched closely given its outsize importance to the balance of power in Richmond. Although the candidates were still awaiting an official ruling from a three-judge panel, Coleman acknowledged the outcome just after 4 p.m. Monday. His victory gives Democrats new leverage in the General Assembly, where the House of Delegates is overwhelmingly Republican — and overwhelmingly opposed to several of McAuliffe’s priorities. The new Democratic governor is trying to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, but many other issues, including increased public school funding, gun control and gay marriage are also being examined.
Election officials in five localities, including Norfolk and Virginia Beach, recounted results Monday in the special election for the state Senate seat vacated this month by Lt. Gov. Ralph S. Northam (D). The district includes parts of Norfolk, Virginia Beach and the Eastern Shore.
Lewis (D-Accomack) had been certified by the State Board of Elections as the winner of the Jan. 7 contest to fill the state Senate seat vacated this month by Lt. Gov. Ralph S. Northam (D). His slim margin — nine votes out of more than 20,000 cast — entitled Coleman, a shipping company owner, to request a recount paid for by local governments.