Democrat Joshua Cole has defeated Republican Paul Milde in the 28th District House race, helping his party gain control of Virginia's statehouse, according to a complete but unofficial tally by state officials.
According to the State Board of Elections, Cole garnered 13,325 votes to 12,289 for Milde. Milde, a former Stafford supervisor, edged his Democrat opponent by about 350 votes in Stafford, but Cole captured more than 70 percent of the vote in Fredericksburg to gain the victory.
“I’m speechless at this point, it’s surreal,” Cole said. “It still doesn’t feel real yet. I’m super excited. There’s a lot of work to do in Stafford County and in [Fredericksburg].”
Cole is the first Democrat to win the 28th District seat since 1982 and his is one of at least five seats added by the Democrats across Virginia Tuesday, giving the party at least a four-seat advantage in the House of Delegates. Democrats also appear to have taken control of the state Senate by one seat.
After the results of the election were published, Milde wrote he was “proud of the massive turnout of the citizens of the community who came out on all sides to express their views at the ballot box.”
“Josh Cole ran a strong race and is running strong,” wrote Milde. “There are a number of discrepancies in election result report numbers and the matter of ballot errors, therefore, I will wait for the morning for clarification.”