Jeff Schapiro has a special morning-after analysis of the Virginia election results.
In a shockingly close election, Mark Warner appears to be poised to return to the Senate, leading his Republican opponent Ed Gillespie by roughly 12,000 votes out of nearly 2.2 million cast and with over 99% of precincts reporting.
Just two months ago, Warner held a nearly 20-point lead over Gillespie. That narrowed significantly in recent weeks, though no one was expecting a margin this close.
Republican Dave Brat, economics professor at Randolph Macon College, will go to Washington as the next Congressman from Virginia’s 7th district, having defeated fellow professor, Democrat Jack Trammell and several months ago doing what many thought was impossible, unseating former U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
Brat defeated Trammell by over 20 point margins in two races yesterday, one to begin in January when the rest of the 2015 freshman class is sworn in and one to begin immediately filling the remainder of Cantor’s term during the lame duck session.
Treska Smith, Sam Praham, Howard Myers, and John Hart were elected to Petersburg City Council. Ken Pritchett and Lois Long, to the school board.
It was a close race for Hopewell City Council for Christina Bailey and A.J. Zevgolis in Hopewell’s first and third wards. Arlene Holloway won handily in the second as did Jackie Shornak in Ward 7. Zevgolis returned to council, beating Mayor Michael Bujakowsky by thirty votes.
5th District Congressman Robert Hurt was returned to office for a third term, winning in a landslide. Hurt, who is from Chatham, was the choice of well over 60% of voters and he was declared the winner a little over two hours after the polls closed.
Democrat Lawrence Gaughan managed just under 35% of the vote and both Hurt and Gaughan finished well ahead of Libertarian Paul Jones, and Green Party standard bearer Ken Hildebrandt.