GOP Sweeps State Offices, Flips House; Local Dems Hang On

On Tuesday night for the first time since 2009, Virginia voters showed strong shades of red. Republican candidate for governor, Glenn Youngkin, edged out former governor and Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe.

With relatively few votes still to be counted, major news outlets called the contest for Youngkin after midnight.

During a speech at his victory party in Chantilly, Youngkin called his election a defining moment, and reiterated his list of campaign promises, ranging from opening 20 charter schools, to adding 400,000 jobs in Virginia, to saving Virginians more than $1,000 each on taxes. 

“My fellow Virginians, this is our moment. It’s our moment for parents, for grandparents, for aunts, for uncles, for neighbors to change the future of Virginia’s children’s lives, to change their Virginia journey,” Youngkin said. “It’s our time to turn that vision into a reality. It’s a vision where Virginia’s power, the power that has historically resided in the marbled halls of Richmond, is spread out, spread out to the kitchen tables that are held together with the bond of spirit, of liberty and freedom.”

His agenda will be tested in Richmond—while Republicans took control the governor’s mansion and the House of Delegates, Democrats retain control of the state Senate.

“Together, we can build a new day, a new day for Virginians where, yes, we soar and we never settle,” Youngkin said. “A new day where all Virginians, all of us, can deserve to look forward to grabbing, to aspiring, to dreaming and then achieving that great Virginia promise.”

The GOP’s other statewide candidates also celebrated victories. Winsome Sears was elected lieutenant governor with 51% of the vote and Jason Miyares defeated two-term Attorney General Mark Herring in the night’s tightest race, with just under 49,000 votes separating them.

McAuliffe, Herring and Democratic lieutenant governor candidate Hala Ayala won in Loudoun, but with significantly less voter support across the county than Democrat Joe Biden secured in last year’s presidential race and Ralph Northam got four years ago.

For example, in the Algonkian precinct, McAuliffe got 482 votes and Youngkin 406. Four years ago, Democrat Ralph Northam won that precinct by nearly 150 votes. In the Farmwell Station precinct in the Broad Run District, McAuliffe got 830 votes to Youngkin’s 596. That 58% total compares to Northam’s 66% margin in 2017.

In 2017, Northam won Loudoun by 20 percentage points. Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential race by 25% points over Donald Trump in Loudoun. Four years earlier Hillary Clinton outpaced Trump by 17%.

Seven of the past 10 governor’s races have been decided with the winner getting only 55% or less of the total vote. Youngkin’s 51% margin wasn’t the smallest during that period; that distinction goes to McAuliffe, who won in 2013 with only 48% of the vote in a three-way race.

In addition to the statewide offices, Republicans on Tuesday flipped the House of Delegates, picking up at seven seats—enough to end Democrats’ two-year 55-45 majority in the lower chamber. 

But while statewide Republicans posted big gains, Loudoun—the epicenter of some of the most hotly contested fights of the election—held off the red wave. One target for Republicans was the 10th District, but Del. Wendy Gooditis (D-10) appears to have held onto her seat—just barely. With all votes counted except for absentee ballots that have not yet arrived, Gooditis led her challenger Nick Clemente 20,878 to 20,542, a difference of just 336 votes.

Del. Suhas Subramanyam (D-87) celebrates his reelection at Döner Bistro in Leesburg Tuesday, Nov. 2. [Renss Greene/Loudoun Now]

If that holds, none of Loudoun’s House of Delegates seats will change parties. Democratic incumbents Gooditis, David Reid, Kathleen Murphy, Karrie Delaney and Suhas Subramanyam bested their challengers. Democratic newcomer Irene Shin in the 86th District, who beat out incumbent Ibrahim Samirah in the summer’s Democratic primary, beat Republican Julie Perry. Republican incumbent David LaRock, one of the few remaining House Republicans in Northern Virginia, held off a challenge from Democrat Paul Siker.

As of Tuesday night, the only votes outstanding in Loudoun were mailed absentee ballots that have until noon Friday to arrive as long as they were postmarked by Election Day.

Schools Battle Echoes Across State

Loudoun became the frontline in the battle for Virginia. And ironically, while Democrats did not lose any seats in Loudoun, the controversies in Loudoun County School Board meetings may have helped Republicans make gains across the state.

The Youngkin campaign’s message changed over time, beginning with talking about business and the economy. By the end of the campaign, Youngkin had capped his run with a Monday night rally at the Loudoun County Fairgrounds hammering education issues. Parents in attendance said Youngkin’s proposed education policies were a large deciding factor for their vote. For many parents, a vote for Youngkin represents a repudiation of the embattled county School Board, on which four members are facing a removal effort.

“I believe parents should have a choice in what happens to their kids in schools,” said one father. “Parents’ voices aren’t being heard.”

Loudoun was ground zero for battles both on protecting rights of transgender students, and on teaching about race and racism.

“We swept all the delegate seats in eastern Loudoun County, and kept Wendy Gooditis’s seat, so that shows me that it’s an issue that stuck and resonated in a way that turned out the Republican base moreso than I think flipping a lot of voters to Republican,” said Del. Suhas Subramanyam (D-87). 

“Republicans tried several issues, and in the past several years they tried other issues, like safety and gang violence, and it’s never stuck,” Subramanyam said. “This time it stuck, and I think the reason was there wasn’t a swift and concise response to demonstrate what was actually happening, and we didn’t have Donald Trump in the White House as a crutch to fall back on either.”

Gooditis said she didn’t see the same kinds of headlines about school boards elsewhere in the state, although school boards across the state were adopting similar policies and curriculum. She doubted the Loudoun education battles were decisive elsewhere in the state.

“I have to think that they thought they were going to take Loudoun County down with that. They failed,” Gooditis said. “But I don’t think that’s what happened in the rest of the state.”

LaRock said the result represented a huge turnaround for the commonwealth. 

“A state that voted heavily for Biden not too long ago has elected a family-oriented governor. Loudoun County I think played a huge role,” he said.

And he pointed to the pandemic school closures as the root of the shift, crediting a “movement of parents who want to have a say in their kids’ education and were not satisfied to have their kids spend way too much time at home.” 

He said while students were home for virtual learning, parents got a better look at some of the objectionable things their kids were being taught.

“These things combined with a desire to see our state move in a positive direction has obviously caused them to gravitate towards Glenn Youngkin,” LaRock said. “I’m excited to work with my first Republican governor ever.”

The 10th Congressional District GOP held its election night party behind closed doors at Trump National Golf Club. While volunteers and several candidates are awaited election results inside, reporters were turned away. Meanwhile Loudoun Democrats gathered at Döner Bistro in Leesburg.

“I thought better of Virginia, and even the district that I represent,” Gooditis said in an emotional speech during the election night party as results rolled in. “I thought that people could tell the difference between sincerity and power-grabbing lies. … I thought people knew the difference between someone who has helped them and wants to help them and someone who—and people who want to be important, want to tear down and are willing to lie about anything.”

Both Gooditis and Subramanyam are headed back to a Richmond that has changed from the single-party control of the past two years.

“I’m going to use my mic a lot more than I have in the past in the House,” Gooditis said. “… If you come after the rights and the justice that we have created for Virginians who have been unheard, I’m going to be using my microphone.”

“I’m not going to change anything I was planning on doing. The only difference is, the bills that I was going to introduce on behalf of Loudoun and to help Loudoun families are much more likely to be killed in a Republican General Assembly because of my party affiliation,” Subramanyam said. “That’s how they operated in the past, and that’s how I expect the Republican General Assembly to operate the future.”

Randall to Dems: ‘Chin Up, Shoulders Back’

With Loudoun Democrats watching disappointing returns and the Republican ticket leading statewide, County Chair Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) said she has been here before.

“I lost two elections before I ever won,” Randall told gathered Democrats Tuesday night. “I lost in 2003 and 2007. Losing is not fun, and we’re having a hard time tonight.”

And while she said the results are still up in the air, she told Democrats: “Chin up, shoulders back.”

She pointed to victories by most of the county’s Democratic house candidates. 

“We’re not going to win every election, guys, this is America. This is how it goes. It’s wins here and there. But we did our job, Loudoun County,” Randall said. “We can’t control the economy. We can only take care of our county.”

Loudoun County Chair Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) address Loudoun County Democrats at an election night party Tuesday, Nov. 2. [Renss Greene/Loudoun Now]
Loudoun County Democratic Committee Chair Lissa Savaglio speaks to Democrats at their election night party Tuesday, Nov. 2 at Döner Bistro in Leesburg.

21 thoughts on “GOP Sweeps State Offices, Flips House; Local Dems Hang On

  • 2021-11-03 at 12:30 am

    “I thought better of Virginia, and even the district that I represent,” Gooditis said in an emotional speech during the Loudoun County Democrats election night party. “I thought that people could tell the difference between sincerity and power-grabbing lies. … ”

    In other words, your constituents all didn’t buy your extremism, and you’re mad about it?

    See how she views us? We’re nothing more than a heard of cattle to her. We’re stuck with her for another two years.

    • 2021-11-04 at 12:22 am

      I am not sure why Chris Manthos cannot appreciate the many things that Wendy has done to make life better for Virginians. For example she was a prime mover for expanded Medicaid. She is doing all she can to lower the price of precription drugs. She is concerned about unreported child abuse. She is also a person who cares about keeping Loudoun Beautiful and fights for clean air and water-plus renewable energy. Wendy voted for no excuse voting and expanding the number of Early Voting days to include a Sunday. This made it easier for all to vote. Of note, she cares about workers rights, helped increase the minumum wage to 12 dollars an hour in VA and helped small business with loans. I voted for Wendy because she showed that she truly cares for people and the health of all Virginians. Not sure why Mr Manthos cannot see that.

      • 2021-11-04 at 10:29 am

        Tony, “expanding” the number of early voting days is un-constitutional. Elections should be one day, one person, one vote. It’s not supposed to be “Election Season.” It’s Election DAY. And everyone should vote with the same information at the same time. Let’s say you’re an independent who voted early for McAuliffe. Then you heard his nasty attack on parents during the debate. Too late — you can’t change your vote. You didn’t have the same info that someone who waited until Election Day had. Finally, it shouldn’t be “easy” to vote. Voting is a privilege. The same people who wait hours in line to snag a great Black Friday deal at Walmart can’t stand in line on Election Day?

      • 2021-11-04 at 12:18 pm

        We can debate Gooditis’ voting record Mr. Fasolo. I’d very much enjoy that conversation. Truth is, she’s a junior back-bencher who votes how and when she is told by the Speaker.

        My point here is that any first year intern would instruct their candidate to refrain from insulting their constituents, particularly on the night they won their race by the skin of their teeth. Her arrogance and negativity over the results of her race is revealing.

        She lost every precinct in Fredrick and Clarke counties. It appears a big chunk of the Loudoun precincts have had enough of her as well. If not for Briar Woods (how that is in the 10th is beyond me) and Leesburg she’d be gone.

        You’re a democrat party guy — sit your democrat candidates down and give them a class in basic civility, how to drop the arrogant and dismissive attitudes. As another commenter has already stated perfectly, it was a big reason democrats lost. You can start by using Gooditis’ demeaning comments about the voters of the 10th district as an example of what not to say to voters.

  • 2021-11-03 at 8:34 am

    Wendy, When you use your MIC in Richmond to represent Loudoun please explain to the other legislators that the composite index is literally forcing our property tax to be too high as it extracts hundreds of millions of funding Loudoun should be getting back from state sales tax collected. Do your job and represent ALL your constituents! 🙂

  • 2021-11-03 at 8:35 am

    I wish Glenn Youngkin well in this new chapter of his life. It’s nice that Terry McAuliffe won Loudoun County. I hope Mr. Youngkin keeps that in mind if he tries to go after the school board. But now, we must unite behind Virginia’s next goveror. Good luck Glenn Youngkin!

    • 2021-11-03 at 4:52 pm

      It is not for Governor Elect Youngkin to go after the school board, nor will he. Our current board is tone deaf and very dismissive of parents and several of them need to go. Our new member Mr, Hoyler has already met with his constituents 3x in townhalls. The existing members just ignore parents, refuse to meet with their constituents and seem to dismiss every concern. They need to be replaced with representatives who listen!

    • 2021-11-04 at 8:40 am

      Gov. Elect Youngkin won’t have to “go after” the school board. We parents in Loudoun are handling that ourselves. On Election Day we collected the rest of the signatures we need to launch recalls for Corbo, Serotkin, Reaser, and Sheridan. It won’t be long now.

  • 2021-11-03 at 11:43 am

    A clean sweep, and hopefully a fresh start for the Commonwealth.

    But now is not the time to rest. Loudouners know that the School Board and LCPS Admin need to go. The behavior of our CA has been reprehensible and outright dangerous for the people of Loudoun, as well.

    It’s a shame that John Bell (D) can go back into hiding for another three years after standing with his corporate supporter (ATT) and against the wishes of his constituents.

    Having said all that, I sincerely hope that Glenn Youngkin can deliver on his positive messaging of lower taxes for Virginia’s working families, investments in mental health and especially school choice.

  • 2021-11-03 at 3:45 pm

    I thought that people could tell the difference between sincerity and power-grabbing lies. … ”

    This is one of the reasons they lost. I’m tired of this ‘join us in our obsessive agenda or die’ attitude. If they don’t reflect and learn from this then history will surely repeat itself.

  • 2021-11-03 at 5:15 pm

    Delegate Gooditis appears to ignore the indication that nearly 50% of the voters in her district voted against her. Further, she appears to me to relish baiting and bashing those who, quite legitimately, disagree with her.

    Good politicians do not antagonize their constituents. Good politicians do not “calumnify” their opposition. Good politicians work for the good of all the people of the state, the wealthy, the workers, as well as the poor and the disadvantaged.

    Unless Delegate Gooditis changes her behavior and attitude, I believe that she is destined to become just another ineffective political hack.

  • 2021-11-03 at 5:51 pm

    I don’t know how McAuliffe won Loudoun County. Was his first term that great? There were TWO rapes in OUR schools. His AG wouldn’t be investigating the School board.
    Mr. Miyares will be investigating them though. and ICYMI : Virginia has a woman of color (And a Marine Corps Veteran) in the first Statewide office. THAT is progress. Another observation . Cold rainy day in a precinct parking lot. One side of sample ballot folks has a tent. They invite the other side under their tent to get out of the rain and cold. That’s what it’s about THE BIG TENT. Faith in humanity: Restored.

  • 2021-11-03 at 7:03 pm

    Proud that a majority of Loudoun voters didn’t go for the race-baiting nonsense of Youngkin and the rest of the crazy train that came to town (looking at you Pence and, of course, Fox News). We can now be safe knowing that Critical Race Theory which was never taught in Loudoun’s schools still won’t be taught in Loudoun schools. Maybe Youngkin will claim that as an early accomplishment. Wouldn’t surprise me. I wish him the best as our new governor but won’t expect much until I see him champion an issue that disappoints the MAGA-hat crowd. If it doesn’t happen, the folks who warned he was a just a Trump in Fleece will have been proven correct.

    • 2021-11-04 at 11:41 am

      Of course there is no CRT in Va Public Schools. If there was CRT in public schools there would be support for CRT on the Va State BOE website.

      Oh wait, nevermind.

    • 2021-11-04 at 1:06 pm

      Actually, I’m rather dismayed that Loudoun couldn’t look beyond party to see the real issues, but it does give me small hope that McAwful saw the difference in votes shrink… meaning some people are waking up to the Democratic Party’s nonsense.

  • 2021-11-03 at 7:28 pm

    I don’t know what is wrong with LoCo, I honestly don’t. How the heck can they still want to vote for Democrats after witnessing the nonsense put upon by the school board and this useless, powerless, clueless, POTUS?
    I honestly started laughing when I saw the election results and LoCo had voted for McCauliffe, who not only stuffed both feet in his mouth in regards to schools and parents, but doubled down on his comments time and time again.
    Thankfully, most of the rest of the state has some common sense and saw the Democratic party for what it is- a pot with a mixture of incompetents, extremists, and lifetime politicians who have accomplished nothing but building their own personal wealth.

  • 2021-11-04 at 10:23 am

    Looking at how the votes broke in 2021 versus 2020:

    The top five largest jurisdictions in VA account for exactly 1/3 of the total votes cast in the state.
    In four of those five, there were more (R) votes than the year before.
    Fairfax, the largest, shifted to the Right by 2.6%
    Loudoun moved to the Right by 4.7%

    Those are significant numbers. And they clearly show a rejection of the Left’s agenda and a growing support for reasonable governance from a different perspective.

    Post election, we have heard two consistent messages from the media and (D) politicians, the first is that Virginians fell for a “racist” message. I know that resonates with the low IQ radicals, but isn’t it just slightly offensive to the majority of Virginia voters?
    The second, and this is a big one, is that Virginia voters were punishing the (D)s for not going far enough to the Left and for not passing sweeping spending bills. Can you imagine the pretzel logic that goes into uttering such nonsense? And yet, it was all over the place. Interview after interview.

    The (D)s are hopeless. They’re addicted to a radical agenda. I hope American voters punish them again in 2022.

  • 2021-11-04 at 12:08 pm

    A note to Delegate Gooditis:

    I am one of your constituents. You are talking about me. Your statement, quoted in this article, suggests that my vote was a result of some combination of ignorance and animus. You owe me and the other 20 THOUSAND of your constituents who voted for Nick Clemente an apology. This is not how you build bridges. This is not how you encourage unity. For all of your bluster about how terrible and divisive Donald Trump has been, your petty comments here are about the Trump-iest thing I’ve heard this entire election cycle.

    Now, I’ve held elected office before, and I have some experience with newspapers take things that I have said out of context. My wife is an elected official, and is mis-quoted or had her words taken out of context regularly. So if that is what has happened here, you should clarify in a letter to the editor or similar communication. Because the quote we have here, as it stands, is classless, caustic, and demeaning. Do you understand that you have to come before these same 20,000 people in 2 years to ask for their vote? So, by all means, clarify, give context, or walk back your quote here in this article. But you still owe us an apology.

  • 2021-11-04 at 1:23 pm

    While I voted for Youngkin there is no way I will do it again in 4 years.

  • 2021-11-04 at 7:18 pm

    To quote JFK “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country” . The Loudoun democrats forgot this. They believe in :” Ask your elected democrat nothing, we know what’s good for you and we don’t have to tell you what that is.”
    Another quote by Ronald Reagan.
    ” I didn’t leave the democratic party, it left me.”

    The near losers really need to think about this.

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