Rodman and Dunnavant

Del. Debra Rodman (left) is challenging Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant in District 12.

Del. Debra Rodman has issued a statement congratulating Sen. Siobhan Dunnavant, R-Henrico on her re-election in Senate District 12.

Rodman, a Randolph-Macon College professor first elected to the House of Delegates in 2017, gave up a Henrico County House seat in order to challenge Dunnavant, who sought a second four-year term in the Henrico-based Senate seat.

"Congratulations to Senator Dunnavant on her re-election," Rodman said in a statement. "It’s not the outcome that we hoped for, but I want to thank everyone who helped this campaign, including my family, volunteers, my campaign team, and everyone who invested in our vision."

She added: "Even though this campaign is coming to an end, our work to enact real change will continue. The legislature has flipped to Democratic control, and I know that together, the House and the Senate will uplift all Virginians."

With all 62 precincts reporting, Dunnavant was up by more than 1,500 votes and nearly 2 percentage points. While Dunnavant won a second term, Democrats in January will hold 21 Senate seats to Republicans' 19.

Dunnavant declared victory Tuesday night at Rare Olde Times Pub in Western Henrico, but acknowledged that it had been "a really tough night" for Republicans, with Democrats taking control of the House and Senate.

"This is a bright shining light," Dunnavant said of her victory. "We're going to get great things done for Virginia."

The 12th District was a key battleground in the fight for control of the Senate.

The district has been in Republican hands since 1988, but has begun to trend more toward Democrats in recent statewide elections.

The campaign was a high-dollar slugfest over health care, guns and abortion. As of late October, it already was Virginia's third most-expensive Senate race ever, with $4.7 million in combined spending,

Dunnavant said she has worked to solve problems that her constituents care about on issues such as the cost of health care and education.

Rodman criticized Dunnavant's vote against Medicaid expansion and the senator's A rating from the NRA.

Dunnavant, an OB-GYN, raised the issue of abortion in a TV ad attacking Rodman for a bill Rodman co-sponsored with Del. Kathy Tran, D-Fairfax, related to third-trimester abortions. Rodman's team responded with an ad attacking Dunnavant on abortion.

Most of the district is in Henrico, with a sliver of the district's voters in Hanover County.

Get the Virginia Politics Insider email update every evening during the GA and weekly all year

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.
Load comments

You must be a full digital subscriber to read this article You must be a digital subscriber to view this article.