The Latest: Woman is first open lesbian in Virginia House
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Latest on diversity of lawmakers entering the Virginia state house (all times local):
The Virginia House of Delegates now has its first openly lesbian lawmaker.
The Associated Press on Thursday declared Democratic candidate Dawn Adams as the winner of a seat representing the Richmond area. She defeated Republican incumbent G.M. “Manoli” Loupassi, who has represented the district for the past 10 years.
Adams won by less than 1 percentage point, with a margin of about 325 votes out of nearly 40,000 ballots cast. She claimed victory Wednesday night.
Loupassi actually conceded the race on election night Tuesday, but the AP at that point said the race was too close to call.
Adams’ victory gives Democrats 49 seats out of 100 in the House of Delegates.
Danica Roem, a transgender woman whose defeat of an outspoken, socially conservative lawmaker has made news around the world, is just one of several women making history in this week’s Virginia elections.
The state House is also getting its first Latina members, its first Asian-American woman delegate and likely its first openly lesbian member.
Altogether, at least 10 new Democratic women will be joining the 100-member House, which previously had only 17 female members. That number could tick up as races that were too close to call go through recounts. Observers say the new diversity could represent a sea change for the chamber, control of which was still up in the air Wednesday.
“The General Assembly will truly look more like this state than ever before,” said Julie Copeland, executive director of Emerge Virginia, which helps prepare Democratic women to run for office and trained nine of the winners.