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Dem who lost Va. House seat in random drawing concedes

The Democratic candidate who lost a seat in Virginia’s House of Delegates in a random drawing has conceded.

Shelly Simonds, who ran to represent the state’s 94th District, lost to GOP incumbent David Yancey last week after the state’s board of elections decided the tied race by drawing a name from a bowl.

“I have conceded because I do not see any legal pathways forward and I want representation for the 94th district today,” Simonds tweeted.

She said she tried to phone Yancey and that she would “like to ask him to vote for Medicaid expansion.”

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Yancey won the election by 10 votes in November, triggering a recount that resulted in Simonds winning by one vote. Republicans then challenged the single ballot, and a three-judge panel determined that it should count for Yancey, tying the race.

Democrats attempted to overturn the challenge, but the complaint was rejected. In accordance with state law, the race was decided “by lot” in January, when officials drew a name from a bowl. 

Yancey’s victory ensures that the House of Delegates would remain in Republican hands, while a Simonds win would have split the seats 50-50 for the first time in nearly two decades.

Simonds initially suggested that she would challenge the decision or seek another recount, but decided to concede the election with her tweets on Wednesday. She has vowed to challenge Yancey again in 2019.

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