By Michael Campbell News Editor
Just over a week ago, millions of Americans made their way to the polls to select the next commander-in-chief of the United States, and Virginia was not excluded.
According to Politico, over 120 million votes were cast across the nation on Election Day Nov. 8, with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his vice-presidential running mate and Indiana governor Mike Pence defeating Democrats Hillary Clinton and Virginia Senator Tim Kaine.
For many, Virginia was seen as a “battleground state,” where either candidate would have likely needed to win the commonwealth in their quest for 270 electoral votes, but, even as Virginia ended up in the Clinton column, Trump’s key victories in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and North Carolina propelled the real estate mogul to 290 electoral votes.
Data from the Virginia Department of Elections shows that over 3.8 million ballots were cast across the state, with Clinton winning a narrow 49 percent of the vote over Trump’s 44 percent.
The remaining nearly six percent of Virginian’s votes ended up with members of the Green, Libertarian and Independent parties, along with write-in votes.
Following the positive results for the Republicans with Trump’s victory, Virginia House of Delegates speaker William J. Howell said the American people made a clear statement at the polls Tuesday.
“Voters delivered a clear mandate for Republican leadership and strongly rejected the Clinton-McAuliffe-Northam status quo that has plagued Washington, D.C,” Howell said.
He also congratulated seven Republicans elected to Congress Tuesday, Scott Taylor, Barbara Comstock, Rob Wittman, Bob Goodlatte, Morgan Griffith, Tom Garrett and Dave Brat, adding that state-level republicans are ready for the upcoming General Assembly session beginning in January.
“The House Republican majority is already focused on the 2017 General Assembly session. Our policy teams have been working since the summer to develop a strong agenda and we look forward to unveiling that in the days and weeks ahead,” he closed.
The Democratic Party of Virginia or the Virginia House Democrats have not released a statement following Tuesday’s election, but they did condemn the vandalism of the Republican Party of Virginia’s office in Richmond on Nov. 9 following a protest in the city.
“The Democratic Party of Virginia strongly condemns any violence or vandalism against the Republican Party of Virginia,” remarked DPVA chairwoman Susan Swecker. “This is not the Virginia way, nor is it compatible with our values as Democrats. While we strongly respect and support the right to protest peacefully, these actions are indefensible.”
Virginians in the state’s Fourth District, which includes Prince George, Dinwiddie, Sussex and Surry, elected a democrat as Donald McEachin defeated Michael Wade, sending the Richmond attorney to Washington and the House of Representatives after serving in the state House of Delegates for a time.
State voters also had to made decisions on a pair of constitutional questions, one that would prevent an employer from denying someone a job if the person chooses not to join a union or organization and another that would allow for localities to exempt property taxes for the surviving spouse of a first responder.
While 53 percent of Virginia voters voted against the right-to-work question, nearly 80 percent of Virginians voted in favor of the tax exemption.
In Dinwiddie, over 13,000 votes were cast, with Trump carrying over 54 percent of county voters.
In the Fourth District House of Representatives race, Dinwiddie voters gave Wade nearly 57 percent of the vote, with the Republican receiving 9,200 votes.
In terms of the constitutional questions, 55 percent of voters voted against the right-to-work question while 82 percent of Dinwiddie voters agreed with the tax exemption question.
Additionally, voters in the community of McKenney, J. Windell Tucker won the mayoral race after running unopposed, while the four members of town council on the ballot along with a write-in candidate all earning the ability to serve on the town board.
Copyright 2016 by Womack Publications