Recount upholds GOP win in contested Virginia House race

·2 min read

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A recount for a Virginia state House seat upheld the Republican candidate’s victory on Wednesday, cementing what will be a 52-48 majority for the GOP when the chamber convenes in January.

A court certified that Republican A.C. Cordoza had defeated Democratic Del. Martha Mugler in the race for the Hampton Roads-area 91st District seat.

Mugler, a freshman member elected in 2019, requested a recount last month after the results from the Nov. 2 election showed her trailing by only 94 votes out of the 27,388 counted.

Cordoza, a 31-year-old political newcomer who works as an engineer technician at Newport News Shipbuilding, ended up ahead by 64 votes, according to Wednesday's final order. There was also a libertarian candidate, Charles West, in the race for the 91st District, which comprises the cities of Hampton and Poquoson, and York County.

An earlier recount last week upheld another GOP candidate’s win and confirmed that the party had retaken the majority from the Democrats, making Virginia one of only two states with a split legislature; the other is Minnesota. Democrats hold a slim 21-19 majority in the Senate, where lawmakers aren’t up for reelection until 2023.

Last month’s elections marked a sweep for the Republicans, who won the offices of governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.

“We will continue to work with the outgoing Democratic majority for a timely transition so as to be prepared to work on day one. The session begins in a little over a month, and Virginians expect us to be ready to work the moment the gavel drops," Speaker-designee Todd Gilbert said in a statement Wednesday night.

Mugler formally conceded and said she respected the court's decision.

“Recounts offer the opportunity to make sure each vote has been counted accurately and instill confidence when margins are razor-thin," she said in a statement.

Sarah Rankin, The Associated Press

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