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The Latest: Incumbent won’t promise to accept drawing

January 3, 2018

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Latest on a three-judge panel refusing to reconsider a decision that stripped the Democratic candidate of an apparent victory in a Virginia House race (all times local):

5 p.m.

The Republican candidate in a tied Virginia House race says he isn’t promising to accept the results of a drawing to determine the winner as the final say.

Republican incumbent David Yancey said Wednesday that he would not agree to such a promise, as suggested by his Democratic opponent, Shelly Simonds earlier in the day.

If Yancey were to lose Thursday’s drawing and then ask for a recount, it could allow Republicans to start the 2018 legislative session next week at a 50-49 majority, which would let them pick a speaker and set committee assignments.

Simonds sent a letter to Yancey on Wednesday asking him to agree that both sides would accept Thursday’s drawing of names from a bowl as final, and not seek another recount.

She did so after a three-judge panel on Wednesday refused to reconsider its decision to count a ballot in favor of Yancey. The panel’s decision to count the ballot tied the race — after a dramatic recount had put Simonds up by one vote.


1:20 p.m.

A three-judge panel has rejected a request to reconsider its ruling on a recount in an election that could determine partisan control of the Virginia House.

The panel on Wednesday denied Democrat Shelly Simonds’ request to undo its decision to strip her of a one-vote victory she won after a dramatic recount of November’s election.

Her lawyers had argued that the judges committed legal errors, including counting a ballot for her Republican opponent after the recount ended.

Virginia elections officials plan to meet Thursday to randomly pick a winner in the contest.

If Simonds wins, the partisan split will be 50-50. If incumbent Del. David Yancey wins, Republicans will have a 51-49 majority.

The Newport News seat is not the only contested race. Democrats have filed a legal challenge in a close Fredericksburg-area race.

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