1105_dnr_Election Night_3

State Sen. Mark Obenshain thanks College Republicans from Eastern Mennonite University and James Madison University during a watch party at El Charro in Harrisonburg Tuesday night.

State Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Rockingham, was reelected Tuesday night by a margin of 65% to 35%, according to the Virginia Department of Elections data.

Obenshain, who has represented the 26th District since 2004, defeated second-time candidate Democrat April Moore.

Celebrating his victory at El Charro, with fellow winner Del. Tony Wilt, R-Broadway, who was reelected to the House of Delegates, Obenshain said: "I've been gratified by the show of support I have received. Getting to represent the people of the Shenandoah Valley, I look forward to solving problems and having a positive impact on lives."

Obenshain visited all six counties and cities that he represents on Tuesday, stopping by 20 precincts, he said.

During his next term, Obenshain said he wants to continue making the area a place that businesses want to come to, improving education, and transportation, particularly that of Interstate 81. 

Obenshain is the chair of the Senate Courts of Justice committee and serves on the Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources, Commerce and Labor, Finance and Rules committees.

Moore announced her second run for state Senate in January. During the race against Obenshain in 2015, he received 69% of the vote.

Moore has said she supported the Second Amendment — with limitations — public education and unions, raising the minimum wage, restoring voting rights to those who are released from prison, and Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam’s efforts to increase internet access to rural areas.

Moore did not respond to a call for comment Tuesday. 

The votes for Moore and Obenshain were split down city and county lines. In Harrisonburg, Moore received 6,035, and Obenshain 3,206. In Rockingham County Obenshain received 8,845 votes, and Moore 2,990.

Lois Cox, a voter in Rockingham County, said she voted for all Republican candidates because "I want this to be a conservative state."

Cox said she is conservative and is against abortion rights and "God should be put first in this country."

"I don't like the direction Democrats are taking our country in," Cox said.

Bryan Whetzel also said he also voted for Obenshain.

"I like the way he's doing things," Whetzel said. "In my opinion he's done nothing to get voted out of office."

In the city, however, the mood was more in Moore's favor.

Zachary Zilinskas, a graduate student in Harrisonburg, said he is a lot more left than the Senate district he lives in, and even Moore is less liberal than he would like.

"I like her policies, I like where she stands, and I like her a hell of a lot more than her opponent," Zilinskas said.

Kara Satterwhite, of Harrisonburg, also said she voted for all Democratic candidates.

"My personal beliefs line up with that party," she said.

Contact Megan Williams at 574-6272 or mwilliams@dnronline.com. Follow Megan on Twitter @DNR_Learn

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