And the winner is... Republican wins after name drawn from bowl in Va. race

John Bacon
In this Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017, file photo, Republican incumbent state Del. David Yancey walks with campaign manager Gretchen Heal outside the Newport News Courthouse in Newport News, Va.
Jonathon Gruenke | The Daily Press | AP

The winner of a crucial Virginia House of Delegates race was decided for the GOP candidate by a drawing Thursday after judges rejected the Democratic candidate's challenge of a vote that could have broken a tie.

Republican incumbent David Yancey was the victor after a small canister holding a slip of paper with his name was drawn from a ceramic bowl. Yancey claims the 94th district seat in Newport News, and the GOP will retain its majority by 51-49.

A victory for Democratic challenger Shelly Simonds would have split the House 50-50.

But the drawing may not be the end of it. Yancey declined an offer from Simonds to make the drawing final, so Simonds said before the drawing that "all options are on the table" if she lost.

Simonds may press for a recount or go to court.

On election night, Yancey appeared to have won the race by several votes. A recount last month put Simonds on top by one vote, but the victory was short-lived. The next day a three-judge panel ruled the race a tie, thanks to a ballot that marked circles next to both Simonds' and Yancey's names.

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The ballot had been thrown out, but the judges determined it should be counted because Simonds' circle had a slash through it. The judges on Wednesday rejected a request from Simonds to reconsider their decision.

However the race is decided, it may not determine the balance of power in the House. Democrats have raised a challenge in another district, won by the GOP candidate, in which some voters were provided an incorrect ballot. A court hearing on that race is set for Friday.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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