WAMU 88.5 : News

Virginia Turns Attention To Special Election That Will Decide Who Controls State Senate

The fight for control of the Virginia legislature is far from over.
Eli Christman: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gammaman/7186599588
The fight for control of the Virginia legislature is far from over.

In Virginia, Democrats and Republicans are focusing their attention on Loudoun County, where a special election for the state Senate this month may have drastic consequences.

The chamber is evenly split 20/20, with a Democrat set to take over as Lieutenant Governor. If Democrats are able to keep the Senate seat vacated by Attorney General-elect Mark Herring, they will be able to wield a tie-breaking vote in the chamber — a useful tool in the upcoming General Assembly session. In order to do that, though, Democrats will need to win in the special election scheduled for January 21.

"This special election, and the people who live in this district, will really have a very significant role to play in terms of the future legislative agenda of the governor," says Stephen Farnsworth, political science professor at the University of Mary Washington. He says Democrat Jennifer Wexton has the edge over Republican John Whitbeck and independent Joe May.

"This is also a district that does tilt Democratic. Democrats have won Senate elections there before. Obama won that district in the presidential election," he explains.

But special elections can be difficult to predict because the turnout is expected to be very low, which could help Republicans.


From Alaska To The Himalayas, 'Voyager' Embarks On Self-Discovery

NPR's Scott Simon talks with writer Russell Banks about his new book, "Voyager." It's a collection of travel writing that also reads like a memoir.

Farmers Wait, And Wait, For Guest Workers Amid H-2A Visa Delays

For the third year in a row, the H-2A visa program is running behind. That's left farmers waiting for planters and pickers even as the harvest season is well underway.

Be Like Bernie: Sanders Looks To Spread His Political Wealth

He's beginning to expand his political network by helping upstart progressive congressional candidates and state legislators, lending his fundraising prowess and national fame to boost their bids.

After Breast Cancer Diagnosis, She Channeled Her Ups And Downs Into Texts

NPR's Scott Simon talks with Natalie Sun about her project, textingwithcancer.com. The website won a Webby award, and documents her pessimism and optimism while undergoing chemotherapy.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.