POLITICS

Virginia election 2013: Mark Herring claims Attorney General victory

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FAIRFAX, Va. (WJLA) - By all accounts, Mark Herring is the newly-anointed Attorney General elect in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

That's according to him, at least. His opponent, Mark Obenshain, begs to differ.

Tuesday night's deadline for Fairfax County to certify its votes in tight election came and went with no official word from the Virginia Board of Elections as to who actually won the race to succeed Ken Cuccinelli as Virginia's Attorney General.

It didn't stop the Democrat from sending out an email to his supporters claiming victory, though.

"Voters in Virginia have spoken, their voices have been heard and I am honored to have won their votes and their trust to become Virginia’s next Attorney General," Herring said in a statement, which was emailed at about 10:15 p.m.

However, Obenshain was not close to ready to concede the race. In a statement of his own, the Republican candidate said that the difference between he and Herring is 1/100th of a percentage point.

"We owe it to the people of Virginia to make sure we get it right, and that every legitimate vote is counted and subject to uniform rules," Obenshain said.

The razor-thin margin between Herring and Obenshain, which has fluctuated consistently since Election Day, stood Wednesday morning with Herring carrying a 106-vote lead on his opponent.

A chunk of the final, crucial votes were counted throughout Monday and Tuesday in Fairfax County in the form of about 500 provisional ballots, 271 of which were approved by the county's Electoral Board.

The Board announced late Tuesday night that 160 of those votes went for Herring and 103 went to Obenshain.

The final tally will be certified on November 25. On that day, the candidate who does not win has 10 days to decide whether he wants a recount.

As reported by NewsChannel 8's Bruce DePuyt, in the unlikely event that the Attorney General's race finished in a dead heat, Obenshain would likely emerge as the winner because of the GOP's advantage in the state Senate.

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