Democrats take over seats held by Republicans for decades in Henrico

Democrats take over seats held by Republicans for decades in Henrico

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Several big races played out in Henrico County on Election Day. Democrats replaced the retiring Jimmie Massie and Republican John O'Bannon in the House of Delegates for the 72nd district and won the special election for the Board of Supervisors Brookland district.

Republicans have long held both seats, yet Democrats believed they could flip them.

Democrat Schuyler VanValkenburg will fill Massie's seat, defeating Republican Eddie Whitlock. Most of the district is in Henrico County, a place where VanValkenburg is a government teacher at Glen Allen High School.

Education has been the biggest talking point for constituents. VanValkenburg wants more state money flowing to public schools, but that's not all.

"We need to be looking at things like SOL reform, accreditation reform, so we're teaching children a whole education," says VanValkenburg. "Whether it's apprenticeships, music, arts as well as the core subjects."

Democrat Debra Rodman beat Republican John O'Bannon, the 17-year incumbent and high-ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee, by more than 900 votes.

Longtime West End Delegate Republican Manoli Loupassi conceded to Democrat Dawn Adams. The nurse shocked Loupassi by about 500 votes.

Democrat Courtney Lynch will replace the late Dick Glover and represent the Brookland district on the Henrico Board of Supervisors. Republicans have controlled the board for decades.

"I think the fresh faces, the people that have come to this community in the last decade potentially are under-represented by a more tenured board," she said.

She says strengthening schools and developing economic opportunities are her main priorities.

"I'll be the only mom of school-age children on the board of supervisors, and 60 percent percent of the budget goes to schools," said Lynch.

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