Former Gov. Tim Kaine defeated Republican George Allen in the most hotly-contested U.S. Senate race this year, CNN projected. With 76% of the votes counted, CNN projected Kaine winning 51% to Allen’s 49%.
“I knew when I announced my candidacy that we could overcome the secret money with the efforts of everyday folks. And with a true grassroots campaign — powered more than 50,000 individual donors, unprecedented in Virginia history — that’s exactly what we’ve done,” Kaine said in an email to his supporters.
“Tonight, after a hard-fought contest, we have been reminded how closely divided our state is politically. I am still glad we got off the sidelines and into the fight in this pivotal election – advocating for the voices of Virginians,” Allen said in his concession speech.
A strong Democratic surge from Fairfax County also helped put President Obama over the top, as major networks projected him winning the Presidential election shortly before 11 p.m.
Allen conceded a few minutes before 11 p.m. but urged his supporters to continue fighting for the principles he said he stood for. “It’s not our cause. It’s America’s cause….Stand strong for freedom,” Allen said.
Turn-out in Virginia exceeded all expectations and voters stood in line for several hours after the 7 p.m. closing time. At Potomac Middle School in Prince William County, it was 10:25pm when the polling place finally closed.
In the House of Representatives, Northern Virginia incumbents Gerry Connolly (D), Frank Wolf (R) and James Moran (D) were all re-elected.
“Tonight, after a hard-fought contest, we have been reminded how closely divided our state is politically. I am still glad we got off the sidelines and into the fight in this pivotal election – advocating for the voices of Virginians,” Allen said. “We sought to reinvigorate the entrepreneurial spirit of America, so we can get our economy growing again – creating jobs with a competitive tax system, reasonable regulations, productive energy policies and empowering education.
“We offered a positive, pro-job growth, pro-Freedom path to fiscal responsibility for our nation and a federal government that lives within its means again. We called for keeping America’s Armed Services strong because the way to preserve the peace is to preserve our strength. And we called for unleashing the tremendous economic potential of our plentiful American energy resources from our Coalfields to the coast,” Allen concluded.
Connolly thanks his opponent
Rep. Connolly won re-election with more than 60% of the vote, according to preliminary results, which he noted in his acceptance speech was the largest margin of his 18-year career. Connolly also thanked his Republican opponent, Chris Perkins.
“Running for office is not easy, but our democracy could not function without people like Chris willing to put their personal lives on hold to step into the arena,” Connolly said.
“Last night’s results make it clear that voters want functional government and real solutions, not rabid partisan rhetoric. They want leaders who will come together to solve problems and get something done. That’s what I have done here in Northern Virginia, and what I will continue to do in Congress,” Connolly said in an email to his supporters. “But in reelecting President Obama and electing my friend Tim Kaine here in Virginia, voters also made a statement that they believe in our Constitutional framework of strong individual rights within the context of a community made up of ‘we the people’ with a role for a functional government ‘in order to form a more perfect union.’ They have rejected an extreme philosophy of social darwinism that would dismantle our social contract and return our nation to a 19th century survival-of-the-fittest society.”