Upcoming election decides Va. Senate control

In just five days, voters in Loudoun and western Fairfax County will decide who controls Virginia's Senate.

A special election is being held to fill the 33rd seat that was held by newly-elected Attorney General Mark Herring. Democrats are spending big money to hold on to the seat while Republicans are fighting just as hard to take it away.

A controversial ad is helping to stoke interest in the race.

"People are absolutely offended by this ad," said Republican John Whitbeck about his democratic opponent's commercial running on local television stations.

In the commercial, Jennifer Wexton describes her experience as a prosecutor, saying she fought for female victims of rape and assault.

"In the Virginia Senate, I'll fight just as hard against tea party Republicans who would take away a woman's health care and her right to choose, even in cases of rape and incest," she states in the commercial.

The ad has received a lot of criticism on social media. Whitbeck says it's one thing to tout your experience and but another to compare fighting against rapists to fighting the Tea Party. "I goes too far," he says. Whitbeck also say Wexton is untruthful in the ad, exaggerating just how tough she was on criminals.

"I'll stand by my record as a prosecutor any day," said Wexton. She said the ad does not compare rapists to the Tea Party but just says she's a fighter and will fight against the Tea Party's causes in Richmond.

The Democrats are funding Wexton's expensive commercial, because whoever wins will determine which party controls the State Senate.

The seat may not fall to either Republican or Democrat, but to an Independent. Joe May has strong support after serving in the House of Delegates as a Republican for 20 years. He lost a primary race last year after being attacked by the Tea Party for voting for the transportation funding plan.

"The primary problem with the Tea Party is that the answer is no. You don't make progress if you say NO to everything," said May.

May does support expanding Medicaid, but only if Virginia can maintain control. He said it doesn't make sense for Virginia to miss out on federal money, while it still must contribute to the program. However, he says he'll be caucusing with Republicans, but Whitbeck's video portrays May as no different from Jennifer Wexton. Wexton takes issue with that.

"We've seen what happens when Republican have the majority." said Wexton.

Election Day is January 21st.


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