With the canvassing process virtually complete in Virginias 5th district and attorney Tom Perriello (D) ahead of Rep. Virgil Goode (R) by nearly 750 votes, the Democratic challenger declared victory Friday afternoon.
It looks like the outcome is now certain. We are going to win this race and pull off the upset, Perriello said.
Perriello said his campaign would now be moving into the transition phase and for that effort he has enlisted the help of former Rep. L.F. Payne (D), who held the 5th district seat from 1988 until retiring in 1996. Goode, then a Democrat, won the open seat and succeeded Payne.
But in a statement released Friday afternoon, Goode said he is not ready to concede the race, and he vowed to get to the bottom of what he said were voting irregularities and reporting errors in the vote-counting process.
Any declarations of winners and losers in this race is premature, Goode said. This contest is undeniably close, the vote totals have greatly varied back and forth since election night, and the official counting process is still ongoing. It is important that we take the time for a fair and thorough process to ensure that every legitimate vote is counted. We remain optimistic that we will prevail when this process is completed.
Even if the final canvassing total does show Goode behind, the race appears to be well within the 0.5-point threshold set by Virginia election law that would allow the Congressman to ask for a recount. Goode said earlier last week that he would evaluate that option if he found himself down after the canvassing was complete.