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Virginia Sen. Houck Concedes Loss

GOP controls all three statewide offices

Virginia's state senate will now be under Republican control.
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Virginia's state senate will now be under Republican control.

Democratic state senator Edd Houck has officially conceded to Bryce Reed in a narrow loss in Virginia's District 17. The victory for the Republicans forces a 20-20 split in Virginia's 40-member senate which, with the tie-breaking vote from Republican Lt. Governor Bill Bolling, gives the GOP complete control of the state's government.

Houck, who has served seven terms from Spotsylvania, announced at an evening news conference that he would not contest the results of Tuesday's election. He finished 222 votes behind Reeves, a former undercover narcotics officer who now owns his own insurance firm. The margin of loss was just 0.5 percent of votes cast, which would have entitled Houck to a recount if he chose to pursue one.

It will be just the second time since the Civil War that all three statewide offices, the House and the Senate are in Republican hands. As Richmond Times-Dispatch political columnist discussed Thursday, Governor Bob McDonnell may still have his work cut out for him working within the Republican party.

Bolling and Republican senators said after the election that a power-sharing agreement was off the table, and they plan to use their one-vote advantage to assume the Senate majority, giving the party the right to dominate committees. The House and governor's office are already under GOP control. 

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