Virginia state Sen. Edd Houck (D) conceded his close reelection race after the final tally had him down by a few hundred votes, giving the GOP control of both houses of the state legislature.
Houck’s concession put the state Senate at a 20-20 tie, with Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling as the tie-breaking vote.
That means Republicans will not have to compromise with Democrats on a congressional redistricting plan, and instead will be able to move forward with an incumbent-protection plan they’d pushed for earlier this year that fizzled in the face of Democratic opposition.
That plan will likely give them an 8-3 edge in the state’s congressional delegation and shore up the district of Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), who has easily held a Democratic-trending district for 30 years but might retire in the next few years.
It could also strengthen freshman Republican Reps. Scott Rigell and Robert Hurt, and is a relief to Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), because Democrats had been pushing to add many more African-Americans to his district, which would make it competitive.
Democrats had stalled a compromise plan, hoping to send the maps to court and have a shot at four or five House seats. But with bicameral Republican control of the General Assembly, that is unlikely to happen. The GOP also holds all three statewide elected offices: governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.