Republicans, who held 66 of 100 seats in the lower house of the state legislature, saw their majority melt away Tuesday in a Democratic wave that felled at least 12 GOP incumbents and flipped three open seats to the Democrats — an unprecedented shift.
With four races still too close to call, both parties are bracing for the messiest of all outcomes: a dead-even 50-50 split that requires power-sharing and a potentially ugly fight for the speakership.
That would be triggered if Democrats pick up one of the four races that are close enough for a state-funded recount. Republicans have leads difficult to overcome in three of them, including Del. Timothy D. Hugo (R-Fairfax), who narrowly pulled ahead of his challenger after unofficial results were tallied. Del. David Yancey (R-Newport News) is just 12 votes ahead of Democratic challenger Shelly Simonds, with provisional ballots still being counted through Monday.