With 90% of precincts reporting, Shannon Valentine has a huge lead that Mike Harrington can’t catch up with, even if he got every remaining vote. (The two remaining precincts are Democratic precincts, anyhow.) It’s a big big win, with Shannon probably ending up with around a 17% lead, once all the votes are counted. Shannon is now Delegate Shannon, Lynchburg’s newest representative to the House of Delegates.
Harrington is to be congratulated for tossing his hat in the ring, and for running a clean campaign. And Shannon is, of course, to be congratulated for her decisive victory, to say nothing of being the first member of our Sorensen class to be elected to office, barely a month after we graduated.
If I may state the obvious, this is yet another election in which Democrats have gained seats in the House of Delegates. We do it ever blessed time. This brings us up to 40 seats, or within an election or two of regaining the majority in the House, as we’ll inevitably do.
I said it a year ago, and I’ll say it again: the shift is underway. To centrist Republicans, let me be the first to say “welcome.” We’re a big tent party. We’d love to have you. I recommend that those considering joining do so as early as possible, as we’ll feel particularly indebted to those of you who make the jump now, rather than later. We look forward to working with you.