One week after the elections, Republican challenger Keith Fimian conceded in Virginia’s 11th District congressional race.
At last count, Fimian trailed Democratic incumbent Rep. Gerry Connolly by just 981 votes. Some GOP leaders said that’s too big a margin to make up with a recount.
Since the margin of victory was less than half a percentage point, Fimian had the right to ask for a recount to be paid for by local jurisdictions, but he said in a statement released Tuesday that he has not seen evidence of errors in the results that might lead to a different outcome, nor does he believe there are enough uncounted ballots to change the result.
To be clear, a recount would not take into consideration any issues relating to the fair conduct of the election, such as problems with the touch screen voting machines or long lines due to broken voting equipment. To pursue those issues would be even longer, more drawn out and more expensive. While all of these issues potentially could affect the result of the election it is by no means clear that, even in the aggregate under the most favorable of circumstances, they would change the outcome.
The state board of elections will certify the results Nov. 22. Another canvass of the results will take place before then, Fimian said, and if there is a significant change, he will reconsider a recount.
Connolly will begin his second term in January. He defeated Fimian by 12 percentage points in 2008 to win his first term. He admitted Tuesday that there is some humility in this victory.
In his second term, Connolly will continue the work and path of his first, he said. He will not budge on health care reform. He voted for it, he said, and he will oppose repeal of it.
Connolly was expected to return to work on Tuesday after spending several days in the hospital. According to Connolly’s Chief of Staff, the congressman was treated for a blood clot in one of his arteries.
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