The Latest: Election officials to pick House winner Jan. 4

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The Latest on a hotly contested race that could determine the balance of power in Virginia House of Delegates (all times local):

1:55 p.m.

Virginia elections officials have set next Thursday as the day they will pick the winner in a bitterly contested race that could decide the balance of power in the Virginia House of Delegates.

The board announced Friday that it will meet that day to randomly draw the name of the winner in the Newport News-based 94th District, barring any intervention from a recount court.

Democrat Shelly Simonds asked the court to reconsider its decision to declare a tie between her and Republican Del. David Yancey. The court has not indicated what it will do.

The date was set shortly after GOP House Leader Kirk Cox criticized Simonds for causing "politically motivated delays" in settling the hard-fought race.

Cox said that even if the tiebreaker happens before the legislative session begins, a winner cannot be seated if the loser seeks a second recount.

That would leave the Republicans with a 50-49 advantage in the House.


10 a.m.

A Republican lawmaker says it's time to pick the winner in a bitterly contested race that could decide the balance of power in the Virginia House of Delegates.

Lawyers for Del. David Yancey on Friday urged elections officials to schedule a random drawing of the winner's name no later than Jan. 9, the day before the legislature reconvenes.

Yancey's lawyers argued that a recount court has already reviewed a single disputed ballot and found it was cast for Yancey. They urged state election officials to deny Democrat Shelly Simonds' motion for reconsideration.

Simonds won a recount by a single vote. The next day, a recount court declared a tie based on the disputed ballot.

If Simonds wins, the partisan split will be 50-50. If Yancey wins, Republicans will have a 51-49 majority.

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