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Recount turns control of Va. Senate to Democrats

Monday - 1/27/2014, 8:45pm  ET

WASHINGTON - Democrats will take control of the Virginia Senate now that a recount in Hampton Roads has found Lynwood Lewis the winner of a special election.

Lewis, who until now has served in the House of Delegates, beat Republican Wayne Coleman by 11 votes out of 23,000 votes cast.

The State Board of Elections says the final totals are 10,203 votes for Lewis to 10,192 votes for Coleman in the district that covers Accomack, Mathews and Northampton counties and the cities of Norfolk and Virginia Beach.

Coleman has called Lewis to concede the race.

Lewis had been initially declared the winner of the Jan. 7 special election by just nine votes.

When Lewis is sworn in, it will create an even 20-20 split between Republicans and Democrats in the Senate. Democrats have the tie-breaking vote thanks to Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, whose Senate seat Lewis will fill.

Republicans had control of the chamber during the last two years due to the tie- breaking vote of then-Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling.

The GOP has controlled the Senate since inauguration day on Jan. 11 because Northam and new Attorney General Mark Herring had to resign their Senate seats to take statewide office.

Democrat Jennifer Wexton has already been sworn into Herring's seat representing parts of Loudoun and Fairfax counties.

Lewis joining the Senate will not change any of the votes that have been taken so far this session while Republicans have been in control.

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