The fate of the 94th House of Delegates race has shifted back to the Virginia Board of Elections.
A court in Newport News has rejected a bid by Shelly Simonds, the Democratic challenger, to have the court reconsider its ruling declaring the election a tie.
Judge Bryant Sugg of the Newport News Circuit Court handed its ruling to the court clerk at 12:21 p.m. Wednesday.
On Thursday, the state Board of Elections is scheduled to meet to decide the winner by drawing lots, which is a random drawing of names.
The chairman of the state Board of Elections, James Alcorn, tweeted that the board is still planning to meet Thursday, despite a forecast calling for snow.
Now that the recount court has ruled, the State Board of Elections will hold the scheduled drawing for #HD94. We are monitoring the weather and, at this time, we still plan to meet tomorrow at 11:00. @vaELECT
— James Alcorn (@jamesalcorn) January 3, 2018
In response to the court’s decision, Simonds sent a letter to Republican Del. David Yancey asking that both parties accept the final result of the drawing, according to House Democratic Caucus spokeswoman Katie Baker.
“This proposal is simple, clean, and will bring the quickest resolution to this election,” Simonds wrote in the letter.
Click here to read Simonds’ letter.
Yancey declined Simonds’ offer in an emailed statement.
“…I have always said I will follow the process laid out in state law,” Yancey said in the emailed statement. “I am not going to deny myself or the people of the 94th district due process simply because of the unnecessary delays that have got us to this point.”
Simonds had petitioned the court on Dec. 26 to reconsider its previous ruling calling the race a tie.
A three-judge panel ruled the contest a tie on Dec. 20.
A Dec. 19 recount had found that Simonds won by one vote.
A victory by Simonds would create a 50-50 tie between Democrats and Republicans in the House of Delegates.
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