WAMU 88.5 : News

Obenshain Concedes Va. Attorney General's Election To Herring

Play associated audio
State Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg, Republican candidate for Attorney General, made his concession Wednesday.
(AP Photo/Steve Helber)
State Sen. Mark Obenshain, R-Harrisonburg, Republican candidate for Attorney General, made his concession Wednesday.

Republican Mark Obenshain has conceded the race for Virginia attorney general, making the announcement at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.

"The recount is almost over. And in this contest for attorney general that I was frankly starting to think was never going to end, it’s apparent that our campaign is going to home up a few votes short," Obenshain said.

Obenshain said he called Democrat Mark Herring to congratulate him on his victory earlier in the day.

The Republican sought a recount after losing by just 165 votes in the initial tally on Election Day to Herring. The recount is scheduled to be finished today, as Herring's camp say their lead had increased to more than 800 votes with almost three-fourths of the recount completed.

Despite the concession by Obenshain, the Recount Court is expected to gavel into session this morning to consider contested ballots. The race has been described as the closest in modern Virginia political history.

At the press conference, Obenshain vowed to return to his position in the state Senate and work for low taxes and educational choice — but also top find common ground with Democrats.

"In this campaign, Mark Herring and I both agreed that combating human trafficking and child predators should be priorities. And I'm sure that we are going to cooperate and work together on those issues and on others," he said.

Now that Herring is officially the winner, Democrats have swept all three statewide executive offices for the first time since 1989, and will hold all five statewide elected offices for the first time since 1968.

The fate of the state Senate remains in doubt, though. Because two of the winning candidates are sitting state Senators, that means both seats are now open for special elections — one in Loudoun County and another in Norfolk.

University of Virginia Center for Politics analyst Kyle Kondik says both seats are likely to be competitive. "These are Democratic districts on paper, but special election turnouts are going to be small and oftentimes those smaller turnouts are going to be Republican turnouts," he says.

Republicans still hold the House of Delegates, though, where they maintain an overwhelming majority — 67 Republicans to 31 Democrats. And under Senate rules, Republicans will maintain control over all Senate committees — even if Democrats win two special elections now underway.

NPR

Writing The Wicked Ways Of The 'Worst. Person. Ever.'

Raymond Gunt is profane, rude, heartless and truly the Worst. Person. Ever. Author Douglas Coupland says he's not exactly sure how the character, with no redeeming qualities, came into his mind.
NPR

Can Wal-Mart Really Make Organic Food Cheap For Everyone?

The giant retailer says it's adding a new line of organic food that's at least 25 percent cheaper. But a large-scale production and supply of organic food likely can't be achieved overnight.
NPR

Obama Adds Malaysia To His Asia Itinerary

Obama travels to Malaysia next week, where the government is under fire for the handling of a missing airliner. NPR's Wade Goodwyn talks to Joshua Kurlantzick of the Council on Foreign Relations.
NPR

Watch For The Blind Lets You Feel Time Passing

A new watch allows the blind to feel time on their wrists. Designer Hyungsoo Kim tells NPR's Wade Goodwyn his watch allows users to tell time accurately without revealing their disabilities.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.