Republicans retain control of Virginia legislature after random drawing hands victory to GOP lawmaker

GOP wins Virginia House.
(Image credit: Screenshot/Twitter/Fox News)

A random name-draw has determined that the Republicans will retain their majority in the Virginia state legislature, putting an end to a bizarre race between two candidates. State officials literally reached into a bowl — an "artsy stoneware" offering borrowed from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, per The Washington Post — and drew the name of incumbent Del. David Yancey, a Republican, delivering defeat to Democratic candidate Shelly Simonds and ensuring Republicans a 51-49 majority.

The race between Yancey and Simonds was originally decided in November, when Yancey appeared to best Simonds by 10 votes. But a December recount showed Simonds actually winning by a single vote — until a judicial panel decided the next day to throw out one of Simonds' votes, throwing the race into a tie. Virginia law stipulates that in the event of a tie, a race is decided by "lot," or random chance.

If Simonds had won the seat, the chamber would have been split 50-50 — the first time in almost 20 years that the legislature would not have been controlled by Republicans. By law, Simonds is entitled to request another recount of the votes, should she desire one. You can watch the name-drawing below. Kimberly Alters

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