Houck Concedes Virginia State Senate Race

GOP claims Senate majority

By BOB LEWIS
|  Thursday, Nov 10, 2011  |  Updated 5:59 PM EDT
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Republicans Poised to Control Virginia Senate

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The Virginia State Legislature

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Virginia Senate District Could Be in for Recount

Virginia's 17th Senate District could be subject to a recount.

Republicans Poised to Control Virginia Senate

Democratic Sen. Edd Houck trailed Republican Bryce Reeves by 86 votes out of nearly 45,000 cast with all precincts reporting in a race too close to call. If the lead stands, the GOP will hold a working majority on the Senate floor, but the narrow margin is likely subject to a recount.
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Democratic state Sen. Edd Houck conceded a narrow loss Thursday to Republican Bryce Reeves, guaranteeing the Republicans control of not only the Senate but state government.

Houck, who has served seven terms from Spotsylvania, announced at an evening news conference that he would not contest the results of Tuesday's election. Houck finished 222 votes behind Reeves, a former undercover narcotics officer who now owns his own insurance firm.

The margin of loss was just less than 0.5 percent of the 45,077 votes cast, entitling Houck to seek a recount at government expense should he seek one.

With Houck's defeat, Republicans are assured of the two-seat gain they needed to forge a 20-20 split in Virginia's 40-member Senate, where the presiding officer, Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, holds the tie-breaking vote.

Bolling and Republican senators said Wednesday they planned to use their one-vote advantage to assume the Senate majority, giving the party the right to dominate committees. The House and governor's office are already under GOP control.

It will be just the second time since the Civil War that all three statewide offices, the House and the Senate are in Republican hands.

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