Mark Peake

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – A Republican Lynchburg attorney has defeated two challengers in a special election for a central Virginia Senate seat, ensuring that the Legislature’s upper chamber remains in GOP control.Results in Tuesday’s 22nd Senate District race were still being tallied late Tuesday, but Democrat Ryant Washington’s campaign manager said Washington has conceded to Republican Mark Peake. Unofficial results from the state Department of Elections with more than 90 percent of precincts reporting showed Peake with a commanding lead. He had around 54 percent, Washington around 38 percent and independent Joe Hines had around 8 percent. An elections official said results were delayed because too few ballots were printed in Lynchburg, and the back-up ballots had to be hand-counted.Had Washington won, it would have created a 20-20 split in the Senate and effectively handed control to Democrats because of the lieutenant governor’s tiebreaker status.