VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Democrats picked up more than a dozen seats in the Virginia House of Delegates on Tuesday night.
“It was definitely a blue wave,” said Benjamin Melusky, a political science professor at Old Dominion University.
Democrat Kelly Fowler, a real estate professional, defeated Republican Del. Ron Villanueva. Villanueva has represented parts of Virginia Beach and Chesapeake since 2009.
“I think voters last night were saying they’re present, they’re here, their votes matter. I think for several years we’ve had some complacency and they’re saying we’re not going to be complacent any more,” Fowler said.
Democrat Cheryl Turpin, a school teacher, has declared victory over Republican Del. Rocky Holcomb, who has been in the House of Delegates since earlier this year.
“I think they want somebody who understands how to put people who might not get along together, together, and I think that’s what they reached out to, across the state,” Turpin said.
Democratic voters came out strong Tuesday night, Melusky said.
“In most cases, the incumbents are getting re-elected 90 percent of the time or more. It really hurt them last night, being an incumbent and having that ‘R’ after the name worked together and worked against them,” he said.
He said we may not have the full picture of what happened for a few more years.
“Whether, moving forward, two years beyond this, is this the Trump Effect playing down? Is it just the Republicans are in a bad spot? Or is this signaling a demographic shift? That will be seen in the next probably two election cycles,” he said.
WAVY News left a message with Del. Villanueva’s campaign.
Del. Holcomb told WAVY News he is considering a recount. He said a flyer the Turpin campaign sent out calling Holcomb racist turned the tide against him.
“Cheryl took a courageous step to stand up to racism and she’s proud to do that,” a Turpin campaign spokesperson said, when asked about the flyer.
Holcomb called the accusation “false” and “beyond belief.”