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Democrat Flips Closely Watched Seat from Republican in Special Election

Democrats will expand their majority in the Virginia Senate after flipping a seat in a special election Tuesday. Democrat Aaron Rouse narrowly defeated Republican Kevin Adams in the race to represent the state’s 7th Senate District in the Hampton Roads area, according to WAVY-TV in Portsmouth. The contest was held after Republican state Sen. Jen Kiggans defeated Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Elaine Luria in the November election for Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. With all 53 precincts reporting, Rouse defeated Adams by just 348 votes, according to the Virginia Public Access Project. The Democrat had 50.41 percent to 49.5 for the Republican. The margin of less than 1 percent is significant when it comes to a possible recount. “In Virginia, there are no automatic recounts,” the state Department of Elections’ website says. “Only an apparent losing candidate can ask for a recount, and only if the difference between the apparent winning candidate and that apparent losing candidate is not more than one percent (1%) of the total votes cast for those two candidates.” Adams had not indicated whether he would pursue that course as of Wednesday morning. Rouse is a former NFL player — he played safety for the Green Bay Packers from 2007 to 2009 — as well as a member of the Virginia Beach City Council. He declared victory in a tweet as results were reported. Rouse’s win gives Democrats a 22-18 majority in the state Senate, according to WAVY. This could prove a roadblock to Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s agenda. The Republican has expressed his support for a ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy in the commonwealth, a proposal that proved a pressing campaign topic in the special election. Youngkin endorsed and campaigned for Adams, a 26-year Navy veteran, in the special election. The hotly contested race seized the attention of national Democratic groups after a midterm in which the party outperformed expectations, according to The Hill. Republicans hold a 51-47 majority in the Virginia House of Delegates, according to Ballotpedia. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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