RICHMOND, Va. (AP) Virginia elections officials have set next Thursday as the day they will pick the winner in a bitterly contested race that could decide the balance of power in the Virginia House of Delegates. The board announced Friday that it will meet that day to randomly draw the name of the winner in the Newport News-based 94th District, barring any intervention from a recount court. Democrat Shelly Simonds asked the court to reconsider its decision to declare a tie between her and Republican Del. David Yancey. The court has not indicated what it will do.

The date was set shortly after GOP House Leader Kirk Cox criticized Simonds for causing “politically motivated delays” in settling the hard-fought race.Cox said that even if the tiebreaker happens before the legislative session begins, a winner cannot be seated if the loser seeks a second recount.