Republican Kirk Cox Defeats Democratic Challenger In 66th House District Race
While Democrats regained control of the Virginia House and Senate in Tuesday’s election, the night was still a victory for Republican House Speaker Kirk Cox. Cox won another term, defeating Democrat Sheila Bynum-Coleman by about 4%.
Cox declared victory about two hours after the polls closed, thanking supporters and volunteers at a watch party in his hometown of Colonial Heights.
“I’ve been at this 30 years. This was a difficult election,” Cox said. “You can just look at this crowd. You all poured your heart into this.”
Marcheta Laine said it was Cox’s personal approach and close relationship with constituents that secured his re-election.
“When he tells a constituent that he will try to work on something that’s what he does,” Laine said. “He tries his best to keep us informed and represent us. And that’s what we want. We don’t want someone telling us how to feel. He listens to us.”
Cox’ re-election was uncertain after federal judges picked a new redistricting map earlier this year that shifted the mixed, rural/urban 66th district to favor Democrats. The old, Republican-drawn map was thrown out alongside 10 other districts for racial gerrymandering.
The Republican declined to speak to reporters after the victory speech, and did not respond to the news that Democrats had picked up six seats in the General Assembly, ending GOP control in the Virginia state house. But he did release a statement later in the evening.
“Republicans will work with Democrats where we can, speak out against overreaching policies when we must, and always seek to guard the best interests of the people of the Commonwealth of Virginia,” he said.
Cox will lose the title of House Speaker when the General Assembly reconvenes in January.