The Senate Judiciary Committee killed HB 827, a bill that would remove local authority to pass gun control ordinances. In its Monday meeting, the committee also killed several other Republican gun bills. Although a few bills are still working their way through the legislature, Monday’s committee meeting largely concludes the current General Assembly session in terms of gun policy, with few gains made by either firearms advocates or opponents.
“The session looks to be a wash for both sides, except for one bill on the serial numbers, and then a switchblade bill,” Virginia Citizens Defense League President Philip Van Cleave told The Virginia Star. “That’s not totally unexpected, but you never know.”
Virginia Republicans retook the House of Delegates by protecting their incumbents and flipping seven seats, giving them a 52-48 majority, according to unofficial election results. Those flips included some predictable results. Otto Wachsmann defeated Delegate Roslyn Tyler (D-Sussex). Republicans won in four out of five competitive Virginia Beach races. Mike Cherry protected Republican control of outgoing Delegate Kirk Cox’s (R-Colonial Heights) district.
Republicans also pulled off some surprises. A.C. Cordoza has apparently defeated Delegate Martha Mugler (D-Hampton) 49.68 percent to 48.70 percent — a nail biting result since mail-in ballots can still come in.
Virginia House of Delegates District 75 is one of the best chances for Republicans to flip a House seat. Delegate Roslyn Tyler (D-Sussex) is a 15-year incumbent, but she faces a repeat challenge from pharmacist Otto Wachsmann, Jr. who nearly beat her in 2019 with 48.89 percent of the vote. The district has been bleeding population in recent years, and the victory will likely depend on whether Roslyn Tyler can mobilize the significant minority presence and overcome dissatisfaction with the local economy. Republicans need to gain six seats in the House to retake the majority. Without Trump on the ballot, Republicans are hoping moderates are more likely to vote Republican, helping them flip some seats.
“If you had to ask me what is the most likely district in the House to flip to Republicans, I would say that one. I still say it’s a toss-up,” CNalysis Director Chaz Nuttycombe told The Virginia Star.
Republicans have a good chance to retake the majority in Virginia’s House of Delegates, powered by historically-Republican voters in swing districts who were alienated by former President Donald Trump. To win the majority, Republicans need to protect what they have and take six seats. They see opportunities in Northern Virginia, metro Richmond, Virginia Beach, and downstate Virginia.
“We feel that with the environment that’s going on right now, we’ve got great opportunities to pick up five to nine seats to take over,” Delegate Terry Kilgore (R-Wise) told The Virginia Star. “That’s one thing you don’t have any control of, but the environment, you know, of Biden and just the overreach by a lot of the Democrats’ bills last year has really focused the independents back our way.”