The last hope for the Republicans in Virginia is now over. Mark Obenshain, the GOP nominee for state attorney general, conceded defeat today to fellow state Sen. Mark Herring (D).
On election night, Herring’s lead stood at 165 votes, making it the closest statewide election in Virginia history. So close that Obenshain asked for a recount.
Herring’s win means a Democratic sweep of this year’s statewide election by the Democrats; Terry McAuliffe won the governorship and Ralph Northam will become lt. gov. That’s the first time that’s happened since 1989 … and it’s the first time since 1969 that Democrats will hold not only all three statewide posts but both U.S. Senate seats as well:
2014: Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, Gov. McAuliffe, Lt. Gov. Northam, Atty. Gen. Herring.
1969: Sens. Harry Byrd Jr. and William Spong, Gov. Mills Godwin, Lt. Gov. Fred Pollard, Atty. Gen. Robert Button.
There is a potential for good news for the Republicans, writes the Washington Post’s Vozzella and Pershing. Herring’s win opens up his state Senate seat for a special election, which “could determine control of the evenly split state Senate. … Because Herring’s Loudoun County district is seen as highly competitive, his win could cause Democrats to lose power in the evenly divided Senate. The GOP has a wide margin in the House.”