A local lawmaker benefits from this week’s power shift in the State Senate. Democrat Creigh Deeds has become the new chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, replacing Lynchburg Republican Steve Newman. Democrats took control of the Senate (pcitured) after a recount was settled in their favor involving a seat in the Tidewater area. The senate still has 20 members from both major parties, but the new tie-breaker is Democratic Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam. Some other local senators are now in the minority again. Emmett Hanger of Augusta, whose district includes Greene County, will be the senior Republican on the Senate Agriculture Committee.