Democrat flips Va. state House seat after she tied in 2017 but lost random drawing

A Virginia Democratic candidate who lost a 2017 state house race after a tie was broken by a random drawing won the seat in Tuesday’s state legislature elections.

Shelly Simonds (D) flipped House District 94, defeating Del. David Yancey (R) 58 to 40 percent, according to The New York Times and Washington Post projections.

Simonds and Yancey's race remained tied at 11,608 votes each in the Newport News-area district in 2017 after a recount and court challenge to Simonds's initial single-vote lead.


After a three-judge panel rejected a Democratic lawsuit over the challenge, the winner was determined by a random drawing, preserving the GOP majority in the House of Delegates by a single seat.

Simonds was one of several Virginia candidates endorsed by former President Obama ahead of the election on Tuesday. The former president’s only Virginia endorsement in 2017 was now-Gov. Ralph Northam (D).

Simonds also received the endorsement of gun-safety group Moms Demand Action, with founder Shannon Watts hailing her victory Tuesday.