Perriello certified winner
By ALTA LeCOMPTE
News & Record Staff
The Virginia Board of Elections on Monday certified the victory of Tom Perriello over U.S. Rep. Virgil Goode, R. 5th , who has served six terms.
The margin of victory was 745 votes. According to the now-official results, Perriello received 158,712 votes while Goode received 157,967.
Within hours, Goode announced he would request a recount.
Goode's campaign issued a press release stating: "The morning after the Election Night with all precincts reporting, we were ahead by 446 votes. Since that time, over 3,200 votes have changed — the largest changes coming from cities and counties that voted for my opponent….
"Virginia law provides for a recount in any election where the vote difference between the candidates is one percent or less. Here, the difference between the candidates is 0.23 percent. In an election this close … and with literally thousands of vote changes taking place during the post-election canvass process — a recount is an important protection for voters."
Perriello said he doubted whether there is "any serious chance of the results changing."
He said he will be moving forward, working with his transition to prepare for taking office in January.
"We respect Virgil Goode's right to ask for a recount and we are confident the recount will not alter the outcome of this race," the Perriello campaign said in a press release issued shortly after the certification. "The official vote canvassing process that took place in the days immediately following the election was extensive, thorough, and overseen by representatives of both parties."
After all votes are recounted, a three-judge panel certifies the results.
At the conclusion of a recount, election results may be contested. The candidate must state the grounds for the contest — either objections to the eligibility of the other candidate or "specific allegations which, if proven true, would have a probable impact on the outcome…."
Perriello, 34, ran an aggressive campaign of grassroots canvassing from local headquarters throughout Central and Southern Virginia. He relied heavily on the Internet to get his message out and raise funds for the campaign, his first.
From the early days of the campaign last summer he stressed the importance of addressing economic issues, especially those affecting Southern Virginia, which has seen its agricultural sector decline and its industrial sector lose jobs overseas.
Goode ran on his record of representing the 5th District and helping secure economic development funding for the region.
Both men are law school graduates.
In 1973, at the age of 27, Goode entered public service as a member of the Virginia Senate. He first went to Washington in 1996, where he has served six terms in the House of Representatives.
Perriello worked to end atrocities in Africa and later served as a national security analyst for the Century Foundation. He has worked inside both Darfur and Afghanistan.
In a statement to his supporters posted to his campaign website, Perriello commented,
"This election year was about expanding our sense of what's possible in our community and country – what we are each capable of when called on to serve. … With an unprecedented get-out-the-vote push that so many of you joined and the final rally over the past 48 hours, we won this through people-powered politics. We can stand proud of the spirit of this campaign and the sense of hope and energy we have brought to our communities across Southside and Central Virginia."