In the well-funded race for the House of Delegates between two Spiders, the Republican incumbent prevailed.
University of Richmond graduate Del. John O'Bannon III defeated Democrat Tom Shields, a Richmond faculty member, for the 73rd House District seat to retain his position in the Virginia General Assembly for another two-year term.
"Today we have started a revolution that we all knew we had to do take back our country and our state and the 73rd district," he said in front of a packed event room at the Downtown Marriott Hotel.
With more than 90 percent of the precincts reporting, O'Bannon, R-Henrico, retained his delegate seat for the district, which includes parts of Henrico County and Richmond City.
O'Bannon, a 1969 graduate of the University of Richmond, defeated Richmond faculty member and Democratic challenger Tom Shields by a 62 percent to 37 percent margin.
"We ran a good, clean campaign, and the results proved it," he said. "Everyone worked really hard on this and I cannot thank all of my staff members and volunteers enough for their work."
O'Bannon, who is the only practicing physician in the House, will serve his fifth two-year term.
O'Bannon originally won a seat in the House of Delegates in 2000 following a special election. Until this year, he had run unopposed in three of the four elections he had participated in.
"We have a tough year ahead of us," O'Bannon said. "But I am confident that we'll make a turnaround."
O'Bannon and Shields faced off in one of the best-funded contest in the Richmond area. O'Bannon gained support from Richmond students and alumni, who have been donating their money and time to the campaign.
Marcus Weinstein, who graduated from Richmond College in 1949, gave the most money as an individual contributor, according to the Virginia Public Access Project, which discloses all campaign contributions of more than $100 in Virginia elections.
Amy Saucier, who graduated from Richmond in 2009, was a legislative intern for O'Bannon during her junior year and worked on his campaign team during the summer and fall.
"O'Bannon has been a great representative that listens to his constituents and always addresses to their needs," she said. "It was a well-deserved victory."
Contact staff writer Nick Mider at firstname.lastname@example.org