Legislative

Election Update – From the Desk of William A. Gray, Attorney, & VAHU Lobbyist

Virginian's went to the polls on November 7, and elected democrat Ralph Northam as Governor, democrat Justin Fairfax as Lt. Governor, and re-elected democrat Attorney General Mark Herring.  Although each race was predicted to be close, the winners ended up enjoying a comfortable margin of victory.  Many political analysts attribute the results to "anti-Trump" sentiment, and a very efficient democratic "get out the vote" effort. 

The bigger story for us is the results for the House of Delegates races.  All 100 House seats were up for election, and the anti-Trump and/or democratic grassroots efforts made its way down to these House races.  Prior to the election, the republicans had dominant control of the House with a substantial majority of seats.  Most political analyst expected the democrats to pick up a few seats.  But no one (if they are honest) predicted that 15 seats would switch from republican to democrat.  And that 15 seat pick up is as of the date this newsletter report is being written.  There were several races where the current republican won by just a very few votes.  Recounts are likely.  If the democrats pick up just one more seat, the House would be split 50-50, and thus a power-sharing arrangement necessary.  If they pick up 2 more seats, the Dems would be in control. 

Regardless of the outcome of recounts, there is another "wild-card" that can be played, and thus impact which party controls the General Assembly.  Look for Governor-elect Northam to offer to some Republicans plum jobs as part of his administration.  The good salary, and pension benefits they would get will be attractive to some.  If a House or Senate republican takes a job with the Northam administration, that immediately changes the partisan "numbers" in each chamber, and thus who controls the levers of power.  Plus, special elections would be necessary to fill open seats.  Stay tuned.     

 

William A. Gray, Attorney, Sands Anderson PC