RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Just a day after the elections, state Republicans say they won't be sharing power with Democrats in what appears to be the new Virginia Senate.
Tuesday, Republicans took an even bigger lead in the House of Delegates, and won what appears to be a 20-20 split in the Senate. But even that split, would be a win for the GOP.
Top Republicans, including the governor and lieutenant governor, left little doubt about the future of the Virginia Senate.
"In the event of a tie vote, the lieutenant governor gets to break that tie. I will break that tie. And we will organize the Senate with an effective republican majority," said Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling.
The GOP is moving forward even though longtime Democratic Senator Edd Houck trails Republican Bryce Reeves by the razor thin margin of about 220 votes, and a recount is possible. If the gap holds, Senate Republicans would hold an edge on everything from controversial bills, to committee assignments.
And so, the governor had this message for both sides of the aisle.
"Now that we have won, I would say, it is critically important that we do not be arrogant," said Governor Bob McDonnell. "To my democratic friends I say, don't be angry," he added.
Current Senate Majority Leader Dick Saslaw seemed to accept this new reality in an afternoon conference call, saying of the Republicans, "They got a tie breaking vote. If you got 20 plus 1 on a vote you pretty much don't have to share anything."