Connolly Keeps Lead After Canvassing

By Julie Carey
|  Friday, Nov 5, 2010  |  Updated 8:55 PM EDT
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The canvass is complete in <a title=Virginia's 11th District Congressional race, with about 1000 votes separating the candidates." />

The canvass is complete in Virginia's 11th District Congressional race, with about 1000 votes separating the candidates.

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The canvass of the closest congressional race in the country is complete, and the result is an even bigger lead for incumbent Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly.

The final batch of provisional, or hand-marked, ballots cast for Virginia's 11th District U.S. House seat were just tallied and they increased Connolly's lead over Republican challenger Keith Fimian to about 1,000 votes.

Connolly’s campaign manager said the race that was too close to call Tuesday night is now over.

"With the vote count complete, I want to reiterate my deep gratitude to the voters of the 11th Congressional District of Virginia for electing me to a second term in the U.S. House of Representatives," Connolly said in a statement released Friday.

But Fairfax County Republicans aren’t quite ready to close the books. They pointed to a precinct where more than 100 votes apparently weren’t counted, but the canvass revealed it was a math error. Fairfax County’s registrar said the canvas revealed no significant problems.

The Virginia State Board of Elections won't certify the results until Nov. 22, and since the margin is under one percentage point, Fimian will be allowed to request a recount.

Fimian's campaign hasn't said whether it will ask for a recount.

This election was a rematch for Connolly and Fimian. Connolly won by 12 percentage points in 2008.


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