“To my wife Teresa and our incredible family and friends, your unwavering support has carried me through. To my campaign team, your tireless efforts are the reason for our success. To everyone who knocked on doors, made calls, donated, and believed, I am eternally grateful,” Cherry, a Colonial Heights city councilor and director of a Christian school, said in a statement issued by his campaign. “And most importantly, I am blessed by the deep faith that God has entrusted in me, this victory is His.”

Cherry also gave a nod to Democrat Katie Sponsler, his opponent in the election.

“Campaigning is hard, and it takes sacrifice,” he said. “I thank Katie Sponsler for stepping up to run.”

Cherry won the election for the district, which stretches from Colonial Heights to central Chesterfield, with 53% of the vote to Sponsler’s 47%. It was his first try at a state elected office and Sponsler’s second.

“Even though the results today were not as we hoped, I want to thank every person who knocked on a door, made a call or donated to my campaign,” Sponsler said in her own statement.

Cherry’s win keeps the district in Republican hands where it has been since Cox was first elected in 1989. Unlike his predecessor who came to Richmond as part of the minority, Cherry will go to the state Capitol next month as part of a GOP majority sealed when the party flipped six House seats.