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Newly elected Democrat Dan Helmer just flipped a Virginia House seat. Here are some of his priorities

Democratic delegate elect Dan Helmer won the most expensive race in District 40. He says gun control tops his agenda.

After Tuesday's sweeping election victories, Virginia Democrats will take over both houses of the legislature in Richmond. Initiatives on their agenda include gun control, abortion rights, health care, the Equal Rights Amendment and the minimum wage.

Dan Helmer beat eight-term Republican Tim Hugo, the last Republican state lawmaker in Northern Virginia, in the most expensive state delegate race in history. Helmer's campaign focused heavily on gun control.

"We're going to pass universal background checks, we're going to make sure we have adequate red flag laws in Virginia. We're going to ban high-capacity magazines," the Iraq and Afghanistan veteran said.

The NRA, based in northern Virginia, slammed the Democratic victory in a statement online. The organization said the Commonwealth is now "beholden to... Manhattan billionaire (Michael Bloomberg) who despises Virginians' right to self-defense."

But the Democratic governor says he's been given a mandate.

RELATED: Virginia legislative elections test anti-Trump sentiment

Credit: AP
Dan Helmer is projected to win a crucial Virginia House district, according to the AP.

 "Obviously universal background checks is something we know will save lives. Assault weapons," Gov. Ralph Northam said at a morning news conference.

Also high on the Democrat's agenda were issues like the Equal Rights Amendment and abortion rights.

 "We're going to have folks like my wife and other women no longer have Richmond politicians believing they can make their health care decisions for them," Helmer said.

For some voters, there's a fear that Democrats could over-reach and swing what has been a purple state back toward the Republicans. Helmer thinks that's unlikely. "I'm incredibly excited," he said.

Outgoing Republican House Speaker Kirk Cox said the G.O.P. majority will speak out when Democrats overreach.

He said the Republicans have accomplished a lot over the last 20 years, including protecting the Commonwealth's Triple-A bond-rating through a major recession and raising teacher pay four times in the last six years.

RELATED: Democrat Dan Helmer is projected winner of pivotal Virginia House race in Fairfax, Prince William counties

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