The two were running for a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates, which prior to the election had been controlled by Republicans by a 66-34 margin. If Simonds had been seated, the House would have been split 50-50, requiring shared power and more public debate on issues, she said in an interview in January.
Yancey’s being seated in the 94th district allowed them to maintain control, 51-49.
“Our election determined whether there would be power sharing. Power sharing would have been positive for Virginia,” Simonds said in January. “The way Virginia works, (committees are proportional). There is a lot of committee work and many ideas never make it to the floor for public debate. A lot of good ideas die that way. Fifty-fifty sharing of committees would mean a lot of good ideas would get out of committee and get to a vote on the floor of the house.”
The official election results showed Simonds and Yancey tied at 11,608 votes but the original election-night count had Yancey winning by ten votes. A Dec. 19 recount, however, had Simonds ahead by one vote. It was then Yancey supporters “pulled a stunt,” according to Simonds and went to court to get one ballot declared viable.
A three-judge panel ruled in his favor and the election became a tie.
“The story kept changing. At one point, it was only a recount. Then, it became a story of the way one vote counts and a miracle. Then, it turned sinister when the judges got involved,” Simonds said. “They broke the rules for a recount. They violated state law. They can only count a ballot once but they went back several times. It is an important tenet of recounts in Virginia they do not want people going back and recounting neighborhoods again.”
What: Meet 'N Mingle with Shelly Simonds. The event is free and people can stop by any time.
When: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 14
Where: Left Field Tavern on the Uptown square
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What: Talk by Shelly Simonds at the League of Women Voters. Open to the public.
When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday
Where: In the Undercroft of the Holy Trinity Church at the corner of South Poplar and East Walnut Streets. Enter through the Poplar Street door.
More: Other candidates expected to be present are Becky Howard, running for state representative for Ohio 53rd District; Vanessa Enoch, US Congressional Candidate; and Dora Bronson, County Commissioner candidate. The event is sponsored by the Butler County Progressive PAC.