Connolly declares victory; Fimian refuses to concede

The vote counting was completed Friday in Northern Virginia’s 11th Congressional District race and Democratic incumbent Rep. Gerry Connolly has declared victory.

After all ballots were counted in the three communities that make up the district – Fairfax County, Fairfax City and Prince William County – Connolly held an unofficial 968-vote lead over Republican challenger Keith Fimian, according to the state Board of Elections. Connolly’s lead has grown as officials continued to count ballots beyond Tuesday’s election.

“With the vote count complete, I want to reiterate my deep gratitude to the voters of the 11th Congressional District of Virginia for electing me to a second term in the U.S. House of Representatives,” Connolly said in a statement

Fimian has not yet conceded defeat and his campaign manager, Tim Edson, late Friday derided Connolly for claiming victory before the vote was officially certified by state election officials.

“Once again we see Congressman Connolly holding himself to one standard and everyone else to another,” Edson said. “Connolly wants to accelerate the legal process for his own political motives instead of letting it play out according to the law. There is no reason to rush the process and take the chance of getting the results wrong. Keith Fimian is abiding by the legal process as it continues to unfold.”

Edson stopped short of saying Fimian would request a recount. Fimian will have that option because the margin between the candidates is less than 1 percent of the total vote. He has to wait until the state Board of Elections certifies the vote Nov. 22 before requesting a recount.

Connolly campaign manager James Walkinshaw said a recount would be a waste of taxpayer money.

“Regardless of the rhetoric emanating from the losing candidate’s campaign, the election is over and Connolly is the winner,” Walkinshaw said. “The statements by Mr. Fimian, his campaign, and other partisans suggesting that the outcome of this race can be reversed are not credible or based on the facts and statistics from the canvasses.”

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