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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Virginia Senate Majority Hangs in the Balance

The balance of power in the Virginia Senate hinges on one district this morning - the 17th District race between Bryce Reeves and incumbent Edd Houck.  Reeves holds a razor thin 86 vote edge with an unknown amount of provisional ballots still to be counted.  Reeves declared victory when all of the precincts reported their count but Houck is not conceding anything yet. There will be a canvasing of the returns this morning

Republicans needed to win just two seats to gain parity with Democrats that would effectively shift control with the help of Republican Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, who can cast tie breaking votes, including organizing the chamber when it convenes in January.  A pickup of three seats would have given the Republicans an out right majority.  Republicans picked up the first seat when State Senator Bill Stanley defeated longtime incumbent Senator Roscoe Reynolds in the newly drawn Southside Virginia district that pitted two incumbents against each other.  This was one of two seats thought to hold an endangered Democrat.  Houck being the other endangered incumbent.  Houck in the past has escaped defeat in a district that leaned GOP by saying he was a moderate in step with the district where he supported repeal of the Death Tax and support for Second Amendment related issues.

Republicans also made plays for several Northern Virginia seats but those races were not close.  The only seat they were able to claim in the upper portion of the state was a district formerly based in Suffolk held by a retiring Republican that now stretches from Prince William to Loudoun County.  Former Delegate Richard Black was able to win that seat to keep in GOP hands.

Over in the House of Delegates, Republicans padded their already sizable majority picking up at least six seats to claim the highest number of seats the Republicans have ever held in the House.  

What does this mean for gun owners?  If the two seat pick-up in the senate stands, Republicans will have a one seat majority on every committee.   Also, because the Republicans that make up this senate are decidedly more conservative than the Republicans that made up the senate the last time Republicans held an out right majority, it is very possible that legislation that died in committee in the past under both parties, could move to the floor this time.  In the past, Senator Tommy Norment has been a question mark on key firearm related votes.  He will remain on Senate Courts of Justice.  Senator Fred Quayle however, another so-so vote, retired and will likely be replaced by a more conservative member.  Additionally, the GOP will pick up one more vote which would be a wash as Roscoe Reynolds, who was defeated, was a pro-rights vote on the committee. VSSA will continue to watch results in the 17th District and will alert members to any additional changes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And you don't see the irony in the fact that your organization endorsed Houck?

Would the race have been so close had you not been so short-sighted?

There should be more to endorsements than a raw look at voting records.

Houck supports releasing the names of CHL holders and opposes the right of CHL holders to defend themselves on college campuses.

If that's not enough, if he retains his seat after the inevitable recount, you just contributed to another term of obstructionists in the Senate stacking committees to kill pro-gun bills, preventing them from getting a floor vote.

Good Job.

You guys do a lot of good work and overall, I think you are a positive for Virginia Gun Owners, but on this one, you really screwed the pooch. IMHO