LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. — Democratic Del. John Bell won a critical Virginia Senate race over Republican Geary Higgins, according to initial projections provided by the Associated Press.
The projected win is now likely to deliver Democrats control of the Virginia State Senate, a crucial development as Democrats hope to shift the balance of power in Richmond for the first time in a generation.
Bell will now represent Virginia’s 13th Senate District, encompassing parts of Loudoun and Prince William counties.
Democrats considered the Northern Virginia district to be one of the easiest areas to potentially flip after Republican State Senator Dick Black announced he would not seek re-election.
Higgins ran as an unabashed Trump supporter, with an endorsement straight from the president’s Twitter account. Bell is a 26-year Air Force veteran who has served two terms in the House of Delegates.
Virginia Democrats sent a blue wave surging across the commonwealth and into Richmond’s Capitol Square two years ago – a cautionary crescendo for Republicans in the first year of the Trump administration.
Another Democratic wave could deliver a more dire message for Republicans in Richmond this year, as control of Mr. Jefferson’s Capitol now hangs in the balance.
Contests in Northern Virginia could tip the balance of power, putting control of the state legislature and governor’s office in Democratic hands for the first time since 1993.
The state-wide election will undoubtedly serve as a referendum on President Trump, as the commonwealth’s fortunes become increasingly tied to the politics across the Potomac.
What would Democrats need to do to begin a new era in Richmond? Win only a handful of seats in Tuesday’s off-year election.
Democrats needed to flip two seats in the House of Delegates and one seat in the Senate for Virginia to become the only Southern state under Democratic control of the executive and legislative branches.