From Arlington to Prince William and Loudoun, Democratic candidates swept to big victories across Northern Virginia on Tuesday, and the party appears to have won control of the Virginia General Assembly.
Democrat Ann Wheeler won the race for open seat of chair of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors, as Democrats also appear to have taken a 5-3 edge on the Prince William board. Democrats also took control of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, reversing a 6-3 Republican edge. Arlington Democrats swept their races, as expected, and in Fairfax County Democrats picked up at least one seat on the board of supervisors.
In addition, Democrat John Bell handily defeated Republican Geary Higgins to pick up the 13th District state Senate seat formerly held by Republican Dick Black. The 13th District includes a large portion of Loudoun, as well as part of Prince William.
Bell's win, and apparent Democratic pick-ups in the Richmond suburbs, will likely give Democrats control of the 40-member Senate in January. Republicans currently have a 21-18 edge, with one seat open. All results are unofficial until certified by the State Board of Elections.
In the 100-member House of Delegates, Democrats appear to have held on to all the Northern Virginia seats they won in 2017, including the Manassas-area 50th District, where Lee Carter held off a spirited challenge from Republican Ian Lovejoy. Tracking by the Virginia Public Access Project showed Democrats picking up five seats statewide, which would give them control of the chamber. Republicans currently have a 51-48 majority, with one seat open.
Democratic pick-ups included the Stafford-area 28th District seat, won by Joshua Cole, who lost to Republican Bob Thomas by less than 100 votes two years ago. Thomas was knocked out in the GOP primary this spring by Paul Milde, but Cole beat Milde, 52%-48% with all precincts reporting.
In the 40th District, Republican incumbent Tim Hugo appeared to have been ousted by Democratic challenger Dan Helmer. Helmer led by almost 2,000 votes with just two precincts still to report. That district includes portions of southwestern Fairfax County and western Prince William. Helmer and Hugo combined to spend about $3.6 million on the race, making it the most expensive House of Delegates race in Virginia history.
Democrats have not controlled both houses of the General Assembly and the Governor's Mansion since 1991.
Gov. Ralph Northam said in a statement, “Tonight, the ground has shifted in Virginia government. ... Since I took office two years ago, we have made historic progress as a commonwealth. Tonight, Virginians made it clear they want us to continue building on that progress."