The concession by the Democrats means Republicans have completed a sweep of the elections, which already included the race for governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general.
House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn acknowledged the Republican majority shortly after Democratic Del. Martha Mugler conceded defeat in a race against Republican challenger A.C. Cordoza in the 91st House District. Mugler’s concession gave Republicans 51 seats in Virginia’s 100-seat House chamber.
“While the results of the election were not in our favor, our work for the people of Virginia goes on,” said Filler-Corn.
Garren Shipley, a spokesman for House Republican Leader Todd Gilbert, said Filler-Corn called Gilbert on Friday.
“The House Republican caucus appreciates her pledge to a smooth transition to the incoming majority,” Shipley said.
Democrats held a 55–45 majority heading into the election on Nov. 2.
Top Democrats, including Vice President Kamala Harris, saw the election on Tuesday as a barometer for key national races in 2022, which will decide control of the U.S. House and Senate. President Joe Biden won the state by a 10-point margin in 2020, making the election sweep a major red flag that the president’s progressive agenda is not playing well with voters.
The Republican statehouse victories are being seen as a backlash against a Democratic majority that has pushed through a series of progressive reforms over the past two years, including the repeal of the death penalty, a loosening of abortion restrictions, and the legalization of marijuana.
In the House of Delegates races, Republican Kim Taylor scored a surprise victory over three-term incumbent Democratic Del. Lashrecse Aird, giving Republicans the 50th seat on Nov. 3. Aird claimed victory late Tuesday, but a late surge by Taylor gave her a 741-vote win.
Democrats are still in control of the state Senate, holding a 21–19 majority until at least 2023. Republicans will nonetheless have veto power coupled with control of the lower chamber.
Republican Glenn Youngkin defeated former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe in the most-watched 2021 race on Tuesday. Republican Winsome Sears beat Democrat Hala Ayala in the race for the lieutenant governor’s office. Republican Jason Miyares beat Democratic two-term incumbent Mark Herring in the race for the attorney general’s office.
Youngkin’s victory and the near-defeat of New Jersey’s Democratic governor have sparked fears that Democrats are on course to lose control of Congress in next year’s midterm elections.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.