RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Democrats promised swift action on a host of liberal policy proposals after taking full control of state government for the first time in more than two decades.
Democratic leaders said Virginians should expect a higher minimum wage, new gun restrictions and greater abortion rights after their party flipped control of the state House and Senate in Tuesday’s election. They also promised ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, making Virginia the final state needed for possible passage of the gender equality measure.
With Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam already in office, Democrats will now have full control of the statehouse for the first time in 26 years.
“Tomorrow the work begins and the people want to see results,” Sen. Dick Saslaw, poised to be the next Senate majority leader when lawmakers return to the Capitol in January, told supporters at a victory party in Richmond. “And let me tell you, for God’s sake, they’re going to get results.”
Tuesday’s victory extended the Democrats’ winning streak under President Donald Trump.
Suburban voters turned out in big numbers to back Democratic candidates, continuing a trend of once GOP-friendly suburbs turning blue. This is the third election in a row in which Virginia Democrats made significant gains since President Donald Trump was elected.