Virginia Recount Maintains Perriello as Victor

Posted December 17, 2008 at 4:13pm

Virginia election officials ruled Wednesday that Rep.-elect Tom Perriello (D) will keep that title following a recount that did little to change the results of the 5th district race.

“I’m gratified that after an exhaustive democratic process, we now can say with certainty that this election is over,” Perriello said in a statement Wednesday afternoon after the recount court certified his victory.

Perriello became one of the biggest surprises of the cycle when he earned 745 more votes than six-term Rep. Virgil Goode (R) in the conservative south-central Virginia district. But because he trailed by less than 1 point in the contest, Goode was allowed under Virginia election law to ask for a taxpayer-funded recount. That process began Tuesday and had been overseen by a panel of three local circuit court judges.

Goode picked up a few of votes during the recount but still lost the race by 727 votes, according to the official tally. He conceded late Wednesday.

“The Recount Court has certified Tom Perriello as the winner of the Fifth District Congressional race,” Goode said in a statement. “I congratulate Mr. Perriello and wish him well as he represents the Fifth District.”

The recount total did not include 70 military absentee ballots that were mailed late. Goode and Perriello had asked the recount court to include those ballots but that motion was rejected. Perriello said Wednesday afternoon that he was “disappointed” that those votes had not been counted.