Virginia Democrats hope to retain control of House | Texas
GLEN ALLEN, Va. (AP) – Democrats in Virginia hope to retain their majority in the House of Delegates in an election on Tuesday that is seen as a referendum on the sweeping progressive reforms the party has proposed to the legislature over the two last years.
Republicans are looking to recoup what they lost two years ago and have aggressively targeted 13 seats they see as competitive; they have to return at least six to get the majority. Democrats now hold a 55-45 majority.
The election is being closely watched as a measure of voter satisfaction with the many reforms adopted by Democrats, including reform of the criminal justice system, easing of abortion restrictions, enlargement of access to the vote, the legalization of marijuana and the end of the death penalty.
Republicans had controlled the House since 2000, but Democrats reclaimed 15 seats held by the GOP in 2017, aided by voter hostility towards then-President Donald Trump. In 2019, Democrats took full control of the legislature by eliminating slim Republican majorities in the House and Senate.
In television commercials, Republicans attempted to portray Democrats as radical liberals who rocked once-conservative Virginia too left.
The incumbent Democrats face competitive races in northern Virginia, near Richmond and in the Hampton Roads area. Seats in two of the last remaining predominantly rural districts held by Democrats were also seen as up for grabs by Republicans.
There are nine undisputed seats, eight of which are held by the GOP.
Democrats now hold a narrow 21-19 majority in the Senate, where members are not eligible for re-election until 2023.
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