Around the South for Dec. 22: VA, FL & TX


Virginia: Delegate race to be decided by lot. After a three-judge panel decided that one ballot that was not counted should have been counted for Republican incumbent Del. David Yancey, the 11,608 to 11,607 one-vote victory for Democratic challenger Shelly Simonds became a tie. The solution? Put an even number of ballots in a “hat” and let someone blindly pull one out to determine the winner. This will also determine whether the GOP keeps its majority in the House of Delegates, or it splits 50-50, for a two-party control of the House ……. Florida: Latvala resigns. Following allegations of sexual harassment against him, state Sen. Jack Latvala (R) resigned from the Florida Senate effective Jan. 5, 2018. Latvala, once a powerful lawmaker and an influential candidate for governor, may also be facing further problems, contends Nancy Smith in Sunshine State New, if as one lobbyist testified, Latvala “expressly intimated to her … that if she engaged in sexual acts or allowed him to touch her body in a sexual manner he would support” legislation that she was lobbying for ……. Texas: Democrats drop suit to keep Farenthold off ballot. After a US district judge refused to grant a temporary restraining order to keep the Secretary of State’s office from removing US Rep. Blake Farenthold’s (R) name from the primary ballot, the Texas Democratic Party dropped its suit to keep the name of the congressman on the ballot. Farenthold isn’t seeking reelection because of harassment charges against him. Now the primary ballots will be printed without Farenthold’s name …….