Republican Asks for Recount in Virginia House Race

RICHMOND (CN) – A longtime Republican member of Virginia’s House of Delegates on Thursday filed a request for a recount of the November vote that resulted in his losing his seat.

Attorney Manoli Loupassi had represented  the 68th House District  in the House of Delegates for 20 years before losing to Democrat Dawn Adams on Nov. 7.

Adams won by 336 votes out of more than 39,000 cast in the contest to represent parts of the city of Richmond and Chesterfield and Henrico counties, according to the Virginia Board of Elections.

Loupassi conceded to Adams on election night, but in a statement released Thursday night he said he wanted to “make sure everything is in order here.”

“the people need to be assured,” Loupassi said in an interview with Courthouse News.

He pointed to the large number of total votes his district race received, almost 40,000, and the 49.5 percent of the vote he earned as evidence of the people’s interest in keeping him in office.

Republicans entered November’s contest with a 32-seat majority in the House of Delegates. They are now clinging to a 51-49 edge pending the results of recounts in several close contests.

Democrats formally asked for recounts Wednesday in two close contests that could decide control of the chamber.

In requesting a recount,  Loupassi executed part of the code of Virginia that allows for one to be requested if the margin of loss is one percent or less.

The vote difference in his race was just .85 percent.

“[The recount is] probably not going to change [the outcome], but I think it’s appropriate,” he said. “Just about half the people voted for me.”

Loupassi said he requested the recount in coordination with the Republican Party of Virginia. And while admitting he wasn’t too hopeful of its success, he said it was good to have certainty.

“I’ve been doing this for 20 years of my life and I’ve put my heart into it to try and do it the right way,” he said, noting he’s already reach out to Adams to offer advice on her incoming seat. “I’m not trying to mess with anybody, I’m just doing what I think is right.”

But some are nonetheless critical of Loupassi for requesting the recount.

“While we believe that recounts serve a critical function in ensuring every vote is counted, we find it interesting that Delegate Loupassi has already twice conceded,” said Katie Baker, spokesperson for the Democratic Party of Virginia and the Virginia House Democratic Caucus. “His decision to request a recount today is clearly a response to pressure as Republicans watch their previous majority slipping away.”

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