It sounds like the plot of a cheap political thriller novel you buy at the airport.
Sen. Ralph Northam, a Democrat who represents Virginia’s 6th Senate District, was elected lieutenant governor in November. A special election was held on Tuesday to determine Northam’s replacement. The Virginia 6th, located in the Hampton Roads region of the state, usually leans Democrat. But this year, because of the Obamacare implosion and other factors, Republicans have a fighting chance. And because the Virginia senate is split 20-20, a GOP victory will hand power to the Republicans and put the brakes on Governor Terry McAuliffe’s agenda.
The results were delayed because—and here our thriller author would merit a few eye-rolls—the boat that was supposed to carry the results from the island of Tangier in Accomack County couldn’t navigate the frozen waters. The count still isn’t finalized, and it’s neck-and-neck. Last night, Democrat Lynwood Lewis led Republican Wayne Coleman by 22 votes. Earlier today that was reduced to 18 votes. Then a supposed tallying error gave Coleman a 190-point lead, which was then subtracted, leaving Lewis 10 points ahead. Lewis has since declared victory, but Coleman is standing his ground and should be able to request a recount.
The outcome of this race is vital: along with the state senate, Virginia’s Obamacare Medicaid expansion is on the line, with Lewis in support and Coleman opposed. Should the results change any further, you can follow them here.