VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Rocky Holcomb has won the seat for the Virginia House of Delegates District 85, representing Virginia Beach.
The Virginia elections website said Holcomb received 3,300 votes and Turpin got 2,943 with all precincts reporting.
The special election held on Tuesday featured two first-time politicians.
Rocky Holcomb is running as a republican and is a captain in the city's sheriff's office. "Before we can grow the economy, before we can make better safer, schools, we have to make our communities safe," Holcomb said, noting shortages of law enforcement officers across the state.
On the other side, Cheryl Turpin is running as a democrat and is a teacher at Cox High School. "I want to take this passion for public education up to Richmond and make change," Turpin said.
Whoever wins will join the General Assembly's task of finding ways to fix a more than $1 billion budget shortfall. Dr. Jesse Richman, a political science professor at ODU, says the budget gap will be one of the biggest issues of the year. "This will constrain the legislators," he said. "It will constrain the governor as well in terms of what they can reach for."
Both Holcomb and Turpin are vowing to work with both sides to find a solution. "I'm a quick learner and a hard studier, so when I get up there I'm going to see where we can solve some problems," Holcomb said.
"It's all about bringing people together," Turpin said. "It's all about compromises. It's what teachers do best."
Turnout in the race was around 7% as of Tuesday afternoon, according to the City Registrar Donna Patterson. She says that is actually a pretty good turnout for a special election during inclement weather.