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Northam’s election could have effect on balance in Virginia Senate

Although the campaigns for Virginia’s governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general are barely over, another race is already being fought more quietly—one that could have a deciding effect on Virginia’s legislative system.

Now that Ralph Northam has been elected lieutenant governor, Republicans and Democrats are angling to fill his seat in the now-evenly-divided Virginia Senate—opening the door for Republicans to capture an outright majority in that chamber.

A special election will be called to fill the seat representing the 6th Senate District, which includes parts of Norfolk and Virginia Beach, as well as Mathews County and the Eastern Shore.

Norman Leahy, author of the politically conservative blog "Bearing Drift," said the vacancy in the Senate is something neither party should take lightly.

"I would hope that both parties have been thinking about this for a long time. They would be fools not to," Leahy said. "If a Republican were to win North...

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