Yesterday of course was Election Day in the Old Dominion. The GOP swept all three statewide offices behind Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell.
The Republicans picked up three House of Delegates seats, with three more possible; in races in Fairfax, Lynchburg and Virginia Beach, challengers were ahead of Democratic incumbents by paper-thin margins. You can expect at least a few recounts before election season is over.
There are at least four new questions to ask since last night.
1. What Happens to Cuccinelli’s Seat?
Republican Sen. Ken Cuccinelli will be leaving the Senate to take his new post as Attorney General in January. That means there will there will be a special Senate election in Fairfax. Cuccinelli squeaked out a victory last time after a recount. Northern Virginia has been trending very blue in recent elections. On Tuesday, Democrat Creigh Deeds did well in the hyper-liberal bastions of Arlington and Alexandria, but by and large McDonnell carried Northern Virginia.
2. What Happens to Stolle’s Seat?
Sen. Kenneth Stolle, R-Virginia Beach, was elected Sheriff of the city yesterday, getting about 70 percent of the vote. Presumably his seat will be up for a special election shortly as well.
3. What Happens with the Soon-to-be-Pending Supreme Court Vacancy?
Justice Barbara Milano Keenan remains on the fast track to get a seat on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. When/if she is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, there will be a seat on the Virginia high court. What happens now that there is a lame-duck Demo governor, an incoming Republican governor and a stronger GOP majority in the House? Outgoing Gov. Tim Kaine had tipped that he wanted to make the appointment, but all bets now may be off.
4. What About Bill Mims?
Attorney General Bill Mims was Bob McDonnell’s chief deputy before McDonnell quit to run for governor earlier this year. Undoubtedly there may be some role for Mims in the McDonnell administration, perhaps a cabinet post. Or maybe that Supreme Court seat that may open up any day now – Mims threw his name into the ring, and garnered substantial endorsements from bar groups, in 2007 for a seat that went to Justice Bernard Goodwyn and again last year when Kaine was mulling a vacancy that ultimately went to Justice LeRoy Millette.