Democrat picks up state Senate seat

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Virginia Del. Dave Marsden defeated Republican Steve Hunt in an upset to fill the senate seat left open by Attorney Gen.-elect Ken Cuccinelli.

Marsden’s win improves Democrats’ hold on the state Senate to 22-18. Cuccinelli, a Republican, had held the seat since 2002.

Marsden received 50.6 percent of the 23,602 votes cast in the special election. He defeated Hunt, a former Fairfax County School Board member, by just 327 votes.

The state Senate will be the only Democratic hold on the state government. The Republicans solidified their hold on the House of Delegates in the most recent elections and all top three statewide offices will be held by Republicans.

Also on Tuesday, Republican Jeff McWaters, founder and former CEO of Amerigroup, easily won the Senate seat left open when Republican Ken Stolle was elected sheriff of Virginia Beach.

McWaters received 78 percent of the vote, defeating Democrat Bill Fleming to keep the seat a Republican seat.

The General Assembly convenes Wednesday at noon. Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell will be sworn in Saturday.

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