Ten days after election, parties still vying for control in Richmond

By  | 

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) When Governor Terry McAulliffe helped Appalachian Power announce its expansion in downtown Roanoke earlier this week, he also predicted parity for Democrats and Republicans in the House of Delegates.

"Right now we're at 49 seats. We have three that are in play, One very close," McAuliffe told reporters. "I'm optimistic we're going to get at least a 50/50. And then we're going to have power sharing. Hopefully, we can get enough to get a majority."

No matter how the numbers fall, lawmakers will return to a very different House of Delegates.

Democrats picked up at least 16 seats.

But Republican Delegate Greg Habeeb says a House that's evenly divided does not necessarily mean we'll see political gridlock in Richmond.

"Now it's possible that partisanship just takes over and it becomes so poisoned that nothing is able to happen," Habeeb told WDBJ7 Friday afternoon. "I think the much more likely result is the elections resolve themselves. We either have split control or small control one side or the other, and we just identify that list of issues: economic development, education reform, transportation, the things we agree on and we spend most of our energy working together. "

Recounts might not be the only political drama ahead.

Habeeb discounts rumors of Republicans switching parties to give Democrats the majority.

But there is also talk of one or more Republicans leaving the chamber, perhaps to take a position in the Northam administration.

The state Board of Elections is scheduled to certify the results of the November 7th election on Monday. And candidates will have 10 days after that to request a recount.