RPV’s Vick: Virginia Democrats ‘Attempt to Steal an Election’ — UPDATED

UPDATE: Wednesday’s SBE meeting was postponed and has been rescheduled for Monday, November 27.

The Republican Party of Virginia’s Political Director John Vick accused Virginia Democrats Tuesday of attempting to “steal an election.”

Vick made the accusation in an email blast that was sent to Virginia Republicans after the State Board of Elections voted unanimously Monday to delay certifying two races.

On Tuesday Republicans threatened legal action if SBE refused to “fulfill its statutory duty to certify the election results.” That same day Democrats filed a federal lawsuit to block certification.

SBE refused to certify House District 28, an open seat being vacated by the retiring House Speaker William Howell, where Republican Bob Thomas leads Democrat Joshua Cole by 82 votes, and House District 88 where Republican Mark Cole easily won reelection.

Tensions mounted after the November 7 election when Republicans lost 15 delegate seats which cut their overwhelming majority in the House of Delegates from 66-34 to the current count of 51-49 with Republicans holding the thinnest of leads with three delegate races possibly heading into recounts.

Republicans plowed ahead, electing their leadership team in hopes the numbers remain in their favor.

Meanwhile, the battle over certification continues, as noted in a strongly-worded email from Vick hoping to stir up the base to turn out for the hearing [the bold is Vick’s emphasis]:

In case you haven’t heard, the Democrat-controlled State Board of Elections met yesterday at 9:30am and voted NOT to certify the elections of the 28th and 88th House of Delegates districts! Let me be clear, this is totally unprecedented!!! The rationale for the failure to certify the elections was the threat of a lawsuit by Democrat lawyer Marc Elias (his firm was responsible for buying the “Fake News” Trump Dossier). Not an actual lawsuit, merely the threat of a lawsuit. The Democrats even had a the [sic] wife of one of the Democrat candidate’s attorneys claim to be “impartial, interested citizens” to give favorable testimony on behalf of the delay.

Vick continued with his belief Democrats were attempting to “steal an election:”

Thankfully, our grassroots members were out in force to call out the Democrat misbehavior for what it is: a thinly veiled attempt to steal an election. Republicans won both of these districts, fair and square. The State Board’s role is simply to certify election results as given to them by local boards, not to delay the outcome.

Please join us tomorrow morning in Richmond to oppose this flagrant disregard for our election. This may be a hike for you, but Monday morning we even had folks joining us from as far away as Fairfax county – this is important!

Two other races are close and may go to recount: Republican Delegate David Yancey in Newport News’ 90th House District who leads his Democratic opponent, Shelly Simonds, by only 10 votes, and in Fairfax’s 40th House District Republican Delegate Tim Hugo leads Democrat Donte Tanner by 106 votes.

If the House were to face a 50-50 tie, Republicans and Democrats could share leadership with co-chairs of committees representing each party. I’m not sure how the Speaker would be decided in a tied House but perhaps it would go to Democrats since they hold the top three positions.

It’s a tough time to be Clara Belle Wheeler who is the lone Republican on the State Board of Elections. After joining her two Democratic counterparts Monday in the unanimous vote to take a time-out by delaying certification to sort things out, it has more than likely put her on the hot seat with RPV.

See the complete election results here. SBE will meet again Wednesday morning.

M.D. Russ: What Happened in Virginia?
Brian Schoeneman: Takeaways From Tuesday’s Tsunami

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