Republicans May Still End Up Controlling Virginia State Senate

Famartin, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Last week, Virginia Democrats managed to gain control of the Virginia state House and hold onto control of the state Senate, but Virginia Republicans may end up controlling the upper chamber because a winning senator appears to have lied about her residency.

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After Tuesday’s elections, Democrats won control of the state Senate by a slim 21-19 margin, but Sen. Ghazala Hashmi’s residency is now being challenged. If it’s determined she’s ineligible, she may be replaced by a Republican with Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears would becoming the tie-breaking vote.

Candidates are required to live in the district they are running to represent. According to her paperwork, Hashmi lived in Senate District 15, but merely rented an apartment in the district while maintaining her primary residence in her original District 10, which had been redistricted earlier this year.

According to The Daily Wire, her original home is not listed for sale and her car was there regularly, suggesting that the apartment was rented solely for the purpose of erroneously establishing residency in the district she wanted to represent.

“There’s no question whatsoever that she does not live in that apartment,” her Republican opponent Hayden Fisher said. “She definitely clearly intentionally lied on that form. And she does not reside in the district so she should not represent it.”

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“She made no genuine effort to actually move into the district, she just rented an apartment. Why don’t you just sell your house and move into the district? She just doesn’t even care. The arrogance is mind boggling,” he added.

Fisher told The Daily Wire he will "stop them from certifying the election."

"She’s disqualified,” he insists, “that means I ran unopposed as a matter of law.”

Hashmi didn’t even list her longtime residence on the candidate qualification form.

“Even if you look only at the document itself, she’s claiming she lives in this apartment and she didn’t list that she owns a secondary residence, when it’s a matter of public record that she owns it,” Fisher pointed out. “Number one, it’s a crime, number two, the board of elections should remove her.”

Fisher, who is a lawyer, argued that votes for Hashmi are effectively null and void, which would make him the winner of the election.

The candidate qualification form was signed by Hashmi under penalty of perjury, and the form states that “knowingly making any untrue statement or entry in this document is a felony under Virginia law. The punishment is a maximum fine of $2,500 and/or confinement for up to ten years. Also, you lose your right to vote.”

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Fisher is calling on Hashmi to concede the election. 

“If she cares about democracy the way she and the Democrats claim they care about democracy, then she should voluntarily concede this election to me,” he said.

I’d love to believe that Hashmi will not be allowed to serve in the state Senate, but this is the kind of thing that Democrats seem to get away with. Let’s see what happens. Something tells me she’ll get away with it. I hope I’m wrong though. After all the hyperbole about protecting democracy we’ve had from the Democrats, fraud like this cannot be excused.

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