Lt. Governor-elect Ralph Northam’s vacated senate district seat will be up-for-grabs in the coming weeks, with Democrats choosing their nominee Saturday and Republicans choosing their candidate next Wednesday, Nov. 21.
The declared Democrats are Del. Lynwood Lewis, former Del. Paula Miller, and Northam’s campaign treasurer, Andria McLellan.
The declared Republicans are Norfolk businessman Wayne Coleman and Norfolk attorney Richard Ottinger.
If state senator Mark Herring should hold onto his slim 57 vote lead in the attorney general’s contest, that will make two Democratic senate seats (including Northam’s) that will be open and subject to a special election. With Republicans needing to win just one of the seats to gain a majority in the Senate (currently 20-18) and serve as a second check (along with the House) on Gov-elect Terry McAuliffe, it is a certainty that they will go “all in”. Otherwise, a 20-20 split favors the Democrats, with Northam as the tie-breaking vote.