RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia House Republicans will be in the minority come January after Democrats flipped control of the chamber last week, but they will be sticking with the same top leader, Del. Todd Gilbert.
Gilbert, who currently serves as House Speaker, fended off an intraparty challenge over the weekend from Del. Terry Kilgore. Gilbert was elected Republican leader at an organizational meeting Sunday, according to a statement from the caucus that did not disclose the vote count.
“I’m honored that my colleagues have once again put their trust in me to lead our Republican team for the coming term. I look forward to working with our caucus to advance our shared Republican values and serve as a check on the worst far-left policies put forward by the incoming Democratic majority,” Gilbert, of Shenandoah County, said in a statement.
Kilgore, who currently serves as Republican leader and represents part of the state’s far southwestern tip, told Cardinal News ahead of the vote that he wanted to help build a new generation of leaders and “ensure every member’s voice is heard.”
It’s not uncommon for caucus leaders to face a challenge after an election cycle that hands their party a loss. Former House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn, for instance, was ousted from her caucus’s leadership in 2022 after Republicans took control of the chamber in the 2021 cycle.
Democrats prevailed in at least 51 of the 100 seats in the House of Delegates Tuesday, winning some of the most competitive races by very narrow margins. One race remains uncalled by AP, the 82nd District match-up south of Richmond between Republican incumbent Kim Taylor and Democratic challenger Kimberly Adams.
House Republicans filled other leadership roles Sunday. They re-elected Del. Amanda Batten, of James City County, as caucus chair, and re-elected Del. Michael Webert, of Fauquier County, as whip.