Republican Gillespie concedes Senate race
SPRINGFIELD, Va. — Republican Ed Gillespie on Friday conceded Virginia’s Senate race to Democratic incumbent Mark Warner.
“The votes just aren’t there,” Gillespie told his supporters, adding that he had called Warner earlier in the day to congratulate him.
It “would be wrong to put my fellow Virginians through a recount,” he added, “when in my head and my heart I know that a different outcome is not possible.”
The latest numbers from the State Board of Elections show Warner leading by more than 16,000 votes, with 49.1 percent of the vote, and Gillespie at 48.4 percent, out of more than 2 million ballots cast. Libertarian Robert Sarvis was third with 2.4 percent. Warner’s margin had increased slightly over the previous two days.
Virginia law allows a loser to seek a recount if the margin of defeat is less than a percentage point. But the state will pay for the recount only if the margin is less than 0.5 percentage points. Because Gillespie is down by 0.7 points, he would have been on the hook to pay for any recount.
Gillespie’s concession did not change the balance of the Senate. Tuesday’s elections put Republicans in control with at least 52 of 100 seats in the chamber.
The Alaska race between Democratic Sen. Mark Begich and GOP challenger Dan Sullivan remains uncalled. In Louisiana, Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu and Republican Bill Cassidy are competing in a Dec. 6 runoff.