Congratulations to our newly elected Governor, Terry McAuliffe and Lt. Governor, Ralph Northam. Mark Herring is continuing to fight in his recount to ensure the over reach from the Attorney General’s office will end. Make no mistake about it, Virginians are ready for a new direction and have spoken their minds. Americans across the nation have had their fill of the Tea Party and its attack on the democratic process. The economic havoc it has wreaked on the Commonwealth with a government shut down is a big incentive to put an end to the Potomac fever creeping into the Commonwealth.
It has been a very long, brutal, expensive campaign season. After tens of millions of dollars were spent on airtime along with gallons of ink in the media and direct mail, the candidates have more than delivered their messages into our households. There were very clear distinctions between the winners and losers in these statewide contests setting the expectations for the next four years. The lesson from the election is clear – Virginia does not want to be home to the Tea Party obstructionists like Ted Cruz.
The State Board of Elections will officially certify the election results by the end of this month. The newly elected statewide leaders will be sworn into their respective offices on January 11. In the meantime, the recount for Attorney General will be decided. Hopefully we will be privileged to have Mark Herring sworn in along with Terry McAuliffe and Ralph Northam. Regardless of the outcomes of that contest, it is clear that the Tea Party candidate with a hard Right history (and the clone of the outgoing Attorney General) has given Virginians cause for concern.
I look forward to working with the new Administration in my capacity as Democratic Leader of the Senate. Rest assured we will strive to put Virginia back in a positive limelight on the national stage. Our challenges are great but not insurmountable. Sequestration will be a dominant driver in our economic recovery as we will be tasked with developing a new biennial state budget. We have the responsibility to cross the aisle and work in a bipartisan way to find the best solutions to these challenges. I know Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe is looking forward to combining his business acumen and building the necessary relationships to find the best outcomes for Virginians in every corner of the Commonwealth.
As a result of the statewide elections, we will have two special elections for Senate seats. These elections are critical in determining the direction of the Senate of VA. Since 2012, the Senate has been equally divided between 20 Democrats and 20 Republicans with a Republican Lt. Governor holding deciding votes on major issues. As Lt. Governor, Ralph Northam will preside in an even – handed and measured manner. The outgoing Governor can call for a special election when the senate seats become vacant.
I have enjoyed seeing so many of you at Homeowner Association Meetings and other community activities as well as at the polls on Tuesday. Thank you for your continued interest and support.
Senator Saslaw represents the 35th District in the Virginia State Senate. He may be emailed at [email protected]