Yesterday's Special Election in Virginia’s State Senate District 38 resulted in a loss for Democrat Mike Hymes. This means that a Republican will replace former Democratic State Senator Phil Puckett.
Because the balance of power in the Virginia State Senate rested on the outcome of this race, Republicans will now control the majority and have the ability to block any legislative efforts by Governor Terry McAuliffe. The next opportunity for Democrats to regain control of the State Senate will not occur until next November when every Senator is up for re-election.
Earlier this year Traci Dippert, Culpeper schoolteacher, announced her candidacy for Senate District 17. This district was formerly held by Democrat Edd Houck for three decades. Houck lost his re-election bid to Bryce Reeves by only 226 votes in the heavily anti-incumbent 2011 electoral environment.
Attention is expected to turn to Dippert, making her race a suddenly high profile one with the balance of power at stake.
“While I am disappointed in the loss of Sen. Puckett's seat in the 38th district, it only strengthens my resolve to bring balance to Richmond by taking back Senate District 17, a seat that was held for 28 years by Democrat Edd Houck,” said Traci Dippert.
"Suddenly the magnitude of this race has intensified. This seat may very well may be the hinge upon which the balance of power swings," said campaign manager Tim Cotton.