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Five things about the state Legislature results

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Some details from Tuesday's voting that decided the entire 100-member House of Delegates and half the 34-seat Senate:

The Changing South

West Virginia's became the South's only Legislature where Democrats control both chambers, despite the GOP's House gains. Arkansas saw Republicans take over its Senate for the first time since Reconstruction on Tuesday, while balance of power in its House was up in the air.

Parent-Child Candidates

Delegate Ron Walters, a Kanawha County Republican, won re-election while his son Chris captured an open Senate seat representing that county and Putnam. Chris Walters defeated Joshua Martin, a Democrat whose mother, Delegate Helen Martin, also lost in Putnam County.

Party Control

Republicans won 44 of 100 House seats and were poised to land two more in races decided by less than 75 votes in unofficial returns. That gives the GOP its largest share in that chamber since 1942, when it held 44 of 94 seats.

Superstorm Sandy Victim

Republican John Rose Sr., killed by a falling tree limb during last week's storm, received 2,973 votes as his name remained on Tuesday's ballot. Incumbent Delegate Mary Poling, D-Barbour and the House Education chair, prevailed with 3,596 votes according to unofficial returns.

Representative Milestone

Democrat Stephen Skinner of Jefferson County won an open House seat Tuesday to become the Legislature's first openly gay member. Skinner founded Fairness West Virginia, a group that advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents. A lawyer, Skinner's cases have included the Jefferson County Commission's ongoing challenge of the state's congressional redistricting plan.

 


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