The Virginia State Board of Elections certified Democratic challenger Tom Perriello as the winner in the state's 5th Congressional District on Monday. The race -- one of the last outstanding congressional battles -- isn't quite settled yet, though; incumbent Republican Virgil Goode will reportedly ask for a recount.
Perriello began the race as a long shot, since he was running in a district that’s considered deep red. But the combination of a compelling back story and increased black turnout seem to have put him over the top. That Goode was a magnet for controversy didn't hurt, either.
Most infamously, Goode publicly worried about the significance of Minnesota's Keith Ellison becoming the first Muslim congressman, saying, "If American citizens don’t wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration, there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran." Goode also shared a stage with a local official who endorsed him on the grounds of his authentic, "real America and real Virginia" quality, though by that point in the year, such talk was pretty standard fare. Last, but not least, he ran an ad against Perriello that showed the clean-shaven, boyish challenger looking swarthy and bearded.
Perriello's lead stands at 745 votes.