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.

WAMU 88.5

Kate Mulgrew: "Born With Teeth" (Rebroadcast)

Kate Mulgrew, who stars as "Red" in the Netflix TV series "Orange Is The New Black", opens up in a new memoir about her complicated family and the baby she gave away for adoption as a young woman.


Swapping The Street For The Orchard, City Dwellers Take Their Pick Of Fruit

Urban foragers don't just pick their meals from the trash; many eat only the finest, freshest produce — picked from city trees. The League of Urban Canners harvests fruit from trees to make jam.

Reconsidering The Pilgrims, Piety And America's Founding Principles

Conservatives who want to emphasize America's Christian roots embrace the story of the Pilgrims and the Mayflower Compact. But some historians say their role in the country's founding is overstated.

From Takeout To Breakups: Apps Can Deliver Anything, For A Price

Convenience is at an all-time premium — and a lot of smartphone apps promise to make many of the things we do every day easier. In a time-crunch or sheer laziness, how far will the apps take us?

Leave a Comment

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