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Perriello sees gains, declares win; final outcome remains unknown

Democratic challenger to Fifth District Republican House of Representatives incumbent Virgil Goode starts planning transition team; Goode has until Nov. 24 to request recount

Though Democratic candidate Tom Perriello declared victory Friday in his Fifth District congressional race against Republican incumbent Virgil Goode, the official outcome of the race remains unknown. According to Jessica Barba, Perriello’s communications director, the Virginia State Board of Elections will post results of the race Nov. 24.

Currently, Perriello leads by 745 votes, but, as Barba noted, he cannot officially be declared the winner until all votes have been processed.

Virginia voting law requires, explained James Alcorn, policy advisor for the Virginia State Board of Elections, that if the winner has less than a 1-percent lead, the loser of the election can request a recount of the votes after the results are released. The election process does not simply stop after Nov. 4, he pointed out, as “election officials work [on data] several weeks after the election.”

The Board of Elections has received the ballots submitted by the 134 localities in the commonwealth and is going through the results to check for anomalies and any errors, Alcorn said.

“The word as far as we know and stand ... is that the canvasses are complete,” Barba said, adding that the summary of votes for each district have been sent to the Board of Elections to be processed.

Jerr Rosenbaum, a spokesman for Goode, said the congressman’s office is “still waiting for the results from the Virginia State Board of Elections.” In the meantime, Rosenbaum said, Goode has been spending time working in his congressional office.

In the case that a recount is held, Barba said Perriello’s campaign would be open to such a request, although “it’s unlikely that the recount will change anything significant.”

Alcorn noted that a recount “is very similar to the process that we’re going through right now.”

While Perriello waits for the final results, his campaign has already begun to prepare for what appears to be a coming victory, Barba said.
“We are moving ahead with transition plans, assuming that this result will hold,” she said. “As you know, there’s a lot of work to be done by the incoming Congress, and we have no time to waste.”

She noted that Perriello’s transition efforts will be led by former congressman L.F. Payne, who held the Fifth District seat in Congress before Goode. New members of the transition team will be announced in the coming days, she added.

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