WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - Six weeks after the election, it's still an open question whether Republicans or Democrats will control Virginia's House of Delegates.
A race that had tied the chamber between the parties is now tied itself and will likely be decided by drawing a name from a hat.
Forty-six years ago, Jim Burch lost the same kind of draw. In the 1971 race for one of six House of Delegates seats from Fairfax County, the Democrat Burch and the Republican William Moss came in six and seven with exactly the same number of votes.
The Chair of the Virginia Board of Elections picked the winner.
They "blindfolded him," said Burch, "put our two names in a silver bowl from the decommissioned USS Virginia, and drew Bill's out....That was the law. You have to live within the law. And unless they change it, that's what you do."
But the stakes in the current race are perhaps even higher. If the Republican wins, the House of Delegates will likely be controlled 51-49 by the GOP. If the Democrat wins, the chamber will be tied 50-50.
"My contention is, the last time this happened, the Republican got it. They ought to give it to the Democrat this time. Good luck Shelly," said Burch.
On Wednesday, elections officials plan to stuff the names of Shelly Simonds (D) and Dave Yancey (R) into film cannisters and then draw one them out of a hat.
William Moss passed away in 1981. Burch is a real estate developer and a minister now.
"I never looked back with regrets. It was a good run. You plant seeds and move on," said Burch.
Good advice maybe for all of us.
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