Allen concedes defeat in Virginia

Democrats take control of the Senate.


Katharine Mieszkowski
November 10, 2006 1:01AM (UTC)

Virginia Sen. George Allen made his concession speech to Jim Webb in the Senate race in Virginia just after 3 p.m. today, handing control of the Senate to the Democrats.

Greeted by a cheering crowd of supporters, Allen tossed a football back and forth with one of them before making his remarks, which began with the vanquished candidate thanking God. "The Bible teaches us that there is a time and place for everything, and today I've called and congratulated Jim Webb and his team for their victory," he said after also thanking his wife, his children, his mother, Sen. John Warner, his campaign staff and volunteers, and the Republican Party of Virginia. "The people of Virginia, the owners of the government have spoken," he said. "They've spoken in a closely divided voice."

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Allen confirmed that he would not seek a recount at taxpayers' expense, noting it could drag on almost until Christmas: "I do not wish to cause more rancor by protracted litigation which in my judgment, would not alter the results," he said, adding, "I see no good purpose being served by continuously and needlessly expending money and causing more animosity."

Allen pledged to cooperate in the transition with Democrat Jim Webb, who had never run for office before beating Allen in a major upset. Allen's concession hands the Democrats control of the Senate with 51 seats, including two independents.


Katharine Mieszkowski

Katharine Mieszkowski is a senior writer for Salon.

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