New date set to draw winner in 94th House District race

We are waiting to see if judges in Newport News will reconsider their decision, which put the house district 94 race in a tie.

RICHMOND, Va. (WVEC) - Barring court intervention, the State Board of Elections says it will draw the winner of the contested 94th District House of Delegates race on Thursday, January 4.

Board Chair James Alcorn said the drawing will take place unless the state court system intervenes.

Democrat Shelly Simonds is asking a court to reconsider its ruling, while on Friday morning, Republican Delegate David Yancey announced he is fighting that motion.

Friday, lawyers for Republican Delegate David Yancey filed their response in Newport News Circuit Court. 

“Just because you don't like the outcome doesn't mean you get a chance to change the rules,” Del. Kirk Cox said in a conference call.

Yancey's lawyers argued that a recount court has already reviewed a single disputed ballot and found it was cast for Yancey. Democrat Shelly Simonds' motion for reconsideration asks the court to reverse its ruling and then ultimately, name her the winner.

Virginia Republican leaders said the Democrats are trying to "litigate their way to victory" in the race.

GOP House Leader Kirk Cox told reporters Friday that Democrats have caused "politically motivated delays" in deciding the winner of the 94th District.

"They know they're wrong in the law but this is a deliberate strategy," Cox said. "Talk about not following the rules, Democrats have sought to delay and obstruct at every turn."

Simonds won a recount by a single vote. The next day, a recount court declared a tie based on the disputed ballot.

In response to Yancey's objections, House Democratic Caucus Communications Director Katie Baker issued a statement that read in part, "We thought this election was over on Dec. 19 when House Republicans issued a statement conceding that Shelly Simonds had won by one vote following a citizen-led recount."

Baker also said “the Yancey team realized they didn’t like the results, so they decided to manipulate the process in a desperate effort to change the outcome and steal the election."

The G.A. session is scheduled to begin on January 10th. 

For both democrats and republicans, the seat representing House District 94 isn't just any seat. It's the seat that could decide the balance of power in the House, which is why this fight has been so contentious.

“We plan to organize the House on the opening day with the members who are sworn in and seated,” Del. Cox added. “We will not allow intentional and politically motivated delaying tactics to impede the organization of the House.”

If a winner for House District 94 is not chosen by then, there will be 50 republicans and 49 democrats.

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

Yancey's lawyers filed several court documents on Friday morning:

Letter to State Board of Elections 


Objection to Motion to Reconsider 


Objection to Motion to Suspend Order 


Memorandum in Support of Objections 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

© 2018 WVEC-TV


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