The 2023 election cycle wasn’t pretty for Virginia Republicans. Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s attempt to control both chambers of the state legislature in Richmond went up in smoke when Democrats retained control of the state Senate and retook control of the House of Delegates. Was it an “earthquake?” No, Democrats have a slim majority in a lower chamber. Overall, Virginia returned to its 2021 political landscape. Or did it?
We have reports that some funny business with a Virginia Democratic state senator might give control of the upper chamber to the Republicans. The Daily Wire’s Luke Rosiak wrote that there might be serious questions regarding the validity of Sen. Ghazala Hashmi’s residency. You must live in the district you’re representing, and multiple sources say Hashmi’s paperwork is inaccurate. Hashmi represented Senate District 10 but opted to run for the 15th district this cycle post-redistricting. The reason is apparent: this is a slam-dunk blue district encompassing parts of Richmond and Chesterfield County (via Daily Wire):
Virginia Democrats last week took control of the state House and retained control of the state Senate by one seat — but a winning senator may have lied about residing in the district, a situation that could lead to the chamber falling into Republican hands.
Democrats are slated to control the state Senate 21-19, but if Ghazala Hashmi is ineligible to hold office because she lied on her campaign paperwork, then a situation could arise where she is replaced by a Republican, and Republican Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears would cast tie-breaking votes.
…four neighbors filed a complaint saying she actually lives outside the district on Bosham Lane in Midlothian, and they provided a spreadsheet saying they had driven by the house 62 times during the month of October to document her residency. The notes include her car being there late at night and early in the morning, and her leaving the house shortly after 8 a.m. It also includes photographic evidence.
Putting Hashmi in a particular bind, if she did live in the Chesterfield apartment, then she may have committed a felony by concealing her ownership of the Midlothian home on sworn election forms.
Hashmi won her election against Republican Hayden Fisher last Tuesday with 62% of the vote. Fisher told The Daily Wire, “I plan to stop them from certifying the election. She’s disqualified, that means I ran unopposed as a matter of law.”
The complaint by four neighbors, which Fisher was not involved with, was dated October 31 and was addressed to Chesterfield County Registrar Missy Vera. Vera did not return a request for comment from The Daily Wire. Hashmi also did not return a request for comment.
There could be a special election, though Republican candidate Hayden Fisher, an attorney, told Daily Wire that it would waste taxpayers’ money due to the early voting law, leaving the 15th district with no representation for months. He hopes Hashmi’s votes will be declared null and void, leaving him to be certified the winner by default.
So, maybe there might be some good election news in the Old Dominion. We shall see.