01:00 - Source: WJLA
Gillespie concedes senate race

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Republican Ed Gillespie conceded Virginia's unexpectedly close Senate race

Gillespie said he considered asking for a recount but that he decided against it

Democratic Sen. Mark Warner retains his seat

Washington CNN —  

Republican Ed Gillespie conceded the Virginia Senate race Friday to incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Warner.

Gillespie said at a Friday afternoon news conference that he had called Warner “congratulating him on his re-election” in a race that turned out to be one of the midterm election’s biggest surprises.

Polls had shown Warner, a popular former governor who’d been endorsed by his Republican predecessor, ex-Sen. John Warner, with a hefty lead. But Gillespie led Warner for much of the night as returns trickled in Tuesday – and ultimately ended up trailing by less than one percentage point.

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He said he would challenge the result “if I believed that there were any conceivable way” to win in a recount. He said he’d forwarded complaints about voter irregularities on to Virginia election officials, but that those votes wouldn’t change the race’s outcome.

“In my head and in my heart, I know that a change in outcome is not possible,” he said. “The numbers just aren’t there, and it’s time to accept the decision of my fellow Virginians.”

Gillespie’s surprisingly strong showing has fueled speculation that he could run again for statewide office – including possibly for governor.

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