By BOB LEWIS
AP Political Writer
8:59 PM EST, November 8, 2011
RICHMOND, Va. (AP)
Republican Tom Garrett has easily won an open Virginia Senate seat over well-known businessman Bert Dodson as Republicans look to erase the Democrats' slim majority.
With three-fourths of the precincts reporting in the sprawling 22nd District, Garrett had 58 percent of the vote over the Democrat. The district runs from Lynchburg through rural districts to Richmond's western suburbs.
In other key races, 3 1/2-term Democratic Sen. Roscoe Reynolds was in a photo-finish race with Republican Sen. Bill Stanley in a marquee rural Southside race.
In two other critical races, Democratic Sens. Phil Puckett in southwestern Virginia coal country and Edd Houck in Spotsylvania's fast-growing suburbs held leads of about 1 point over well-funded, determined Republicans with two-thirds of the vote counted.