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With Race Still Undecided, Herring And Obenshain Create Transition Teams

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Mark Herring says that he's Virginia's attorney general-elect, but Republican Mark Obenshain isn't yet ready to concede.
(AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Mark Herring says that he's Virginia's attorney general-elect, but Republican Mark Obenshain isn't yet ready to concede.

Vote counting may be done in the hotly contested race for Virginia attorney general, but both candidates have created transition teams — indicating that the fight isn't yet over.

On the night of the election, the chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia issued a press release congratulating Republican Mark Obenshain for winning the election. A few minutes later, Democrat Mark Herring appeared before reporters to say he was not conceding the race.

Now the tables have turned. Herring, who is clinging to a 164-vote lead, is declaring victory and Obenshain is the one saying the race isn't over yet. Both have created transition teams just in case.

"Well, it's definitely headed for a recount, so it's not surprising to me that Obenshain wouldn't concede," says Geoff Skelly of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics.

He says that despite the posturing, recounts rarely change the outcome of an election. "We're almost certain to see some changes in vote tallies, but it's still probably unlikely there's going to be anything significant enough to make up the roughly 160-vote deficit for Obenshain."

The State Board of Elections is set to certify the election on November 25. If Herring is still ahead at that point, Obenshain will have 10 days to call for a recount, which the state will pay for.

Regardless of the final result, the race is on target to be the closest in the commonwealth's history — in a 2005 race for attorney general, Bob McDonnell won by 323 votes of the 1.94 million cast.

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