FREDERICKSBURG (WWBT) - The Senate of Virginia is officially in the hands of the Republican Party. 7 term senator Edd Houck announced that he was conceding his race to republican Bryce Reeves.
Houck deciding to forgo a recount, means a 20-20 split in the senate, with the GOP holding the tie breaking vote.
The numbers just weren't on his side, and instead of a prolonged period of doubt over who would be governing Virginia, he ended the speculation. Houck stepped down from a nearly 30 year career in Richmond, the way any true statesman would.
He knew his time had come.
"He won it fair and square," Houck said of his victorious opponent Reeves.
Faced with a deficit of more than 200 votes, and a long period of time before all the ballots could be counted again, Houck chose not to focus on what he didn't accomplish this time around, and instead what his was able to do over the course of a 7 term career.
"I'm very proud of the service I've provided to the citizens of this district for the last 28 years," he said.
Cut out of central casting, Houck looks the part of a Virginia gentleman, sent to Richmond to do the people's business. He served as one of the principal architects of several state budgets, a role he loved in an institution he respected immensely. A respect he shared with the man who will replace him.
"You are about to enter one of the most sacred legislative areas in the entire country," Houck told Reeves, "That is the Senate of Virginia."
Houck leaves behind a wounded caucus that will be forced to be creative to hold off Governor Bob McDonnell's agenda. Yesterday the governor pledged to find areas to work together.
He told his colleagues "That we govern effectively and reflect the will of the people."
A task that beings in earnest when both sides return to Richmond in January.
There is quite a bit for republicans to be happy about. In addition to regaining control of the Senate, they also added 6 seats in the House. That should make it much easier for Governor McDonnell to pass his legislative priorities.
You can see and extended clip from Senator Houck's concession address on DecisionVirginia.com.